The Livingstonia Synod of the CCAP has dragged a faction of the church to court over use of its infrastructure at Area 25 in Lilongwe.
The faction, which is against the transfer of the church’s minister Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango has been using the church’s premises for services conducted by Reverend Mhango.
In the matter, the Synod would like to get the court’s interpretation on who owns the property when people leave the church.
Although at first lawyer representing the synod, Victor Gondwe, protested the use of an affidavit of Hezron Banda, one of the members opposing reverend Mhango’s transfer, judge Charles Mkandawire said the issues being raised will be handled as the case progresses.
“Having looked at the file as a whole, we should proceed. I would not want to prejudice any of the parties at this juncture. The court will look later at which matters are relevant or irrelevant,” Mkandawire said.
Gondwe had asked the court to strike out the affidavit of Banda as he said it was served late and also that he considered it irrelevant and scandalous.
“The last part of the affidavit is scandalous. It is not only contradictory, but also not clear,” Gondwe said.
He cited part of the affidavit which said the people remained members of CCAP Kanengo Congregation.
As the matter progressed, it
was clear that the courtroom, which was full, largely comprised the two camps.
Murmurs could be heard if one party felt aggrieved by what was being asked.
The Synod had brought three witnesses in the Synod’s moderator Reverend Douglas Chipofya, General Secretary, Levi Nyondo, and former minister at Kanengo Congregation Reverend Sayuwani Mumba.
Chipofya had a torrid time in court when Kanengo Congregation’s lawyer, Zeros Mitumba, bombarded him with questions ranging from his legitimacy as a member of the Trustees of Livingstonia Synod to how the issue was handled from the onset.
It had to take the intervention of Gondwe to stop Mitumba from quizzing the Moderator on issues he said were not related to the matter.
Judge Mkandawire sustained the observation.
But Mitumba further pressed Chipofya:
“I f the Church s tops a congregation from paying [tithe to] the presbytery, what does it mean?”
Chipofya said it may be because the congregation detached itself from the Church.
Later Nyondo and Mumba also testified.
Before giving both parties 14 days to make written submission, judge Mkandawire said he prefers church matters should not go to court, just as another well-known church he mentioned does.
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