Blantyre Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) has elected the Reverend Masauko Mbolembole as its moderator to head the spiritual functions of the synod for the next two years.
Mbolembole, who serves as moderator of St. Michael and All Angels congregation, got 187 votes against 132 for his closest challenger and former synod vice-moderator the Reverend Edna Navaya in a generally peaceful election that cannot be compared to the hot race for the synod general secretary (GS) which was marred with reports of political interference last year.
Two other candidates, the Reverend Ernest Mpate and the Reverend Harrison Zgambo, both from Mulanje Presbytery, got 88 votes and 25 votes, respectively during elections conducted by Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).
In an interview, Mbolembole, hitherto moderator of Blantyre City Presbytery, said: “This election means that I am the spiritual father of the Blantyre Synod and I am there to serve everybody. I am grateful to God and Blantyre City Presbytery for nominating me to be a candidate and all others for supporting me.”
Mbolembole has replaced the Reverend Rabson Chimkwezule, the outgoing moderator of Limbe CCAP congregation, who has since retired.
Blantyre Synod GS the Reverend Alex Maulana, the administrative head of the synod, said Mbolembole has since ceased to be the moderator for the Blantyre City Presbytery following his election.
He said there is need for “urgent” elections to replace him.
Maulana described the election as free and fair with no tension. Ironically, his election last year was marred by mudslinging and allegations of political interference.
There were 430 votes cast, with no null and void and zero cancelled votes, according to MEC.
In the race for the deputy GS, incumbent the Reverend Moyenda Kanjerwa retained his position with 333 votes against 97 for his sole challenger the Reverend Anderson Juma.
For the position of vice-moderator, the contestants were the Reverend Mirriam Chipeta-Banda of Blantyre North Presbytery, the Reverend Jafali Asidi of Domasi Presbytery, the Reverend Brino Chipewa of Mulanje Presbytery, the Reverend Macford Kutani and the Reverend Peter Siyani of Blantyre City Presbytery and the Reverend Demster Mthipela of Migowi Presbytery.
As we went to press around 11pm, MEC officials were still counting votes for the position of synod vice-moderator. n