Eighteen priests from the Anglican Diocese of the Upper Shire have ignored a call by the church summoning them to a disciplinary hearing to answer charges of alleged breach of discipline.
A notice served to the members, dated March 26 2019, to appear before a Diocesan Hearing Commission, signed by commission chairperson Venerable Father Rabson Kalulu shows the commission has summoned the clergy to a hearing to be held at Chilema Ecumenical Conference Centre on April 3 2019.
Reads the summon in part: “The Bishop and Archdeacons meeting on March 21 2019 resolved that a hearing commission be established to provide the clergy with an opportunity to be heard or learn as regards to what happened on January 17 2019 when they [clergy] joined the laity in the demonstration against the Church of God.”
Kalulu, in a telephone interview, admitted writing the letter, but said he had no mandate to make further comments.
But in a letter to the commission, signed by Father Dyson Chombo of Kholombidzo Parish, some members dismissed the calls to attend the hearing, describing the commission as lacking legal mandate.
He said the demonstrations the clergy participated in were against Bishop Brighton Vitta Malasa and not the church as claimed in the letter from the commission.
In January, irate members and priests locked Malasa’s office and forced him to receive a letter demanding his immediate resignation alleging abuse of funds by the bishop. n