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Synod leaders receive threats

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By Samuel kalimira:

Leaders of Nkhoma Synod of Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) have said since they published their pastoral letter, they have been receiving threats and several kinds of attacks from unknown people suspected to be Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) sympathisers.

The pastoral letter, which was titled ‘An Opportunity to Choose a Leader with Good Reputation, Full of Holy Spirit and Wisdom’, was on Sunday, April 28, read in all Nkhoma Synod congregations, and it did not go down well with DPP.

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Government spokesperson Henry Mussa in a press statement issued Wednesday said the letter did not criticise the DPP administration fairly.

On Monday, the family of the synod’s Moderator Reverend Bizwick Nkhoma of Area 47 Kaning’a Congregation and Mvama Area 49 CCAP Moderator Reverend Bazwell Banda, who is also Deputy Synod’s Senior Clerk, claim to be victims of the threats.

The moderator’s daughter Maggie is said to have been nearly abducted at a primary school she learns and she was rescued by the school’s administration.

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The synod’s General Secretary Reverend Vasco Kachipapa Banda told Malawi News on Thursday that almost all the leaders have been living in fear because of, among others, insults through mobile phones and physical attacks by suspected DPP cadets.

“The people came at the school and told the moderator’s daughter that her family wants to go out with her. Lucky enough, she decided to inform teachers about the communication. However, the teachers phoned the parents who said they were not aware of the people. When the teachers wanted to meet them, they ran away.

“Rev [Bazwell] Banda was attacked by unknown people who were in a DPP-branded vehicle. He was driving and they were following him. When he realised their plot, he stopped his vehicle. The people also stopped and walked out of the vehicle. Later, they realised that the reverend was not alone and they left,” Kachipapa said.

He said, at Lilongwe CCAP, some people came to the manse and asked guards to call the congregation’s moderator and his wife but they disappeared after they were told they were not around.

Kachipapa said he has received many phone calls from known and unknown people who are threatening him for having published the letter.

He said the church has reported the matter to Central Region Police Headquarters who have promised to investigate the matter.

However, Kachipapa said the attacks will not stop the church from standing for the truth and remaining focused on advising people as they are going to polls on May 21.

On security, Kachipapa said they have boosted the workforce arguing many of their security personnel are retired soldiers and police officers.

However, Kachipapa said the leaders are more protected by God, quoting scriptures which say “the one inside them is bigger than those outside”.

But DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi said DPP is a God-fearing party which cannot attack religious leaders.

“Let them not dent our image. If they have been attacked, we are sure DPP is not responsible. We are a clean and God-fearing party. We respect their views and we believe they are independent,” Dausi said.

National Police Public Relations Officer James Kadadzera asked for more time before responding to the matter.

In the pastoral letter, Nkhoma Synod, among others, urged its faithful to vote, in the forthcoming polls, for an upright president who is development-conscious and will get rid of the rampant corruption, tribalism and regionalism.

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