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Livingstonia Synod may discipline General Secretary Levi Nyondo

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The leadership of Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) is reportedly planning to discipline General Secretary (GS), Reverend Levi Nyondo, in relation to remarks he made about Ngoni culture and traditions.

In April this year, Nyondo condemned Inkosi ya Makosi M’mbelwa IV and his subjects for practising polygamy and drinking beer, sentiments that irked the cultural group and blemished the relationship between the synod and Ngoni chiefs.

The Ngonis have been pushing for an apology from the synod but the church has stood its ground.

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We have learned that, at a meeting that Moderator John Gondwe and Deputy GS Joseph Mwale held with representatives of the Ngoni chiefs and Mzimba Heritage Group two weeks ago, other synod leaders distanced themselves from Nyondo’s remarks.

A well-placed source in the office of the moderator has confided in The Daily Times that Nyondo spoke in a personal capacity contrary to what he claimed in his speech.

In the speech, Nyondo said: “A message from the moderator to all of you, including the Inkosi Ya Makosi, [is that] you should be attending church services…you drink beer and even encourage your people to drink. Others practise polygamy; you are doing this while you know that it is sin and against our doctrine. Let me tell you that death is coming and you are going to hell. We are also going to discipline you in church.”

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Our source said over the weekend that what Nyondo said is tantamount to insubordination.

“The moderator is the spiritual father of the synod. It is wrong to say something in his name when he has not given any instruction. So the relevant committee on such cases will decide what kind of whip to crack. Any case of insubordination is followed by disciplinary action,” the source said.

But Nyondo said in an interview Monday he stands by what he said at Ephawemi, adding that his words are guided by biblical principles.

“We don’t speak from the moderator’s office; we speak from the Bible. We only mention them as a matter of courtesy,” Nyondo said.

When contacted, Gondwe, who is out on duty in Scotland, could neither deny nor confirm the decision to discipline Nyondo.

He said the church has a responsibility to champion co-existence.

“The stand is to reconcile by correcting what each party feels went wrong. A church is for the weak, the sick and sinners,” Gondwe said.

Asked on whether the synod would issue an apology as demanded by the cultural group in a letter presented at the meeting, Gondwe said the synod would respond accordingly when he is back in the country.

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