DPP, PP fight at Blantyre Synod
The Blantyre Synod of the Church of Central African Presbytery (CCAP) has turned into a ruthless political battlefield, with serious allegations that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its bitter rival former ruling People’s Party (PP) are sponsoring candidates ahead of an electoral General Assembly scheduled for August 24 to 27 this year.
Reverend Stanley Chimesya who is also the synod’s prison chaplain told The Daily Times on Friday that politicians from the DPP have directly been involved in the elections.
Chimesya however, accused the current General Secretary Reverend Alex Maulana of bringing politics into the synod by actively supporting the DPP, saying that has divided the synod into two camps.
On allegations that he is a PP sympathiser, Chimesya said he is a servant of God who takes no part in partisan politics.
“Reverend Maulana is the one who is DPP and everybody knows that. He keeps engaging in the party’s business for example, meeting cabinet ministers in secret, including President Peter Mutharika at the State House. We have all the information only that we cannot sell it to the public because it is shameful,” he said.
Chimesya expressed concern that the development is bound to affect the forthcoming elections.
However, Maulana who is seeking second term of office distanced himself from the matter arguing that he only exercises his responsibility to give advice to political leaders.
Maulana said he knows that PP is supporting the two candidates vying for the post of General Secretary; Reverends Lazarus Kadango and Paul Mawaya through Chimesya and others.
“I have heard reports that DPP is supporting my candidature and that my fellow competitors are supported by PP. But that is not true because we are not politicians. I know [Reverend MacDonald] Kadawati and Chimesya are against me but they are not God. I am going to win if God says so,” said Maulana.
However, Chimesya confirmed that he is against Maulana’s candidature arguing his administration has brought confusion into the synod because of politics. He said currently the synod is divided as some of its leaders are behind the idea of having Maulana removed before church members lose trust in the synod.
Speaking in his defence Maulana said out of 18 presbyteries in Blantyre 14 are in his support.
“There is no politics anywhere. I know just because am from the Lhomwe belt, people associate me with the DPP. I do not want any support from any political party as others do. I know I will still win,” he argued.
However, both DPP and PP denied rallying themselves behind any of the candidates in the elections.
DPP spokesperson Francis Kasaila said his party has no specific church leaders to work with while PP’s Ken Msonda said the allegations are not applicable.
Meanwhile, General Assembly moderator Reverend Timothy Nyasulu has cautioned political parties against interfering with the General Assembly and the church’s leadership in general.
“Political parties should not interfere with Blantyre Synod elections. We serve people from different political parties. We are not politicians we can only be partners in development,” said Nyasulu.
He then warned that the General Assembly will not tolerate politicians to support churches with an aim of winning political sympathy from Christians.
Blantyre Synod has always been a political hotbed of ruling parties. A number of their former General Secretaries have been disgracefully booted out of office on allegations of flirting with politicians.
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