Re-elected Church of Central Africa Presbytery (CCAP) Blantyre Synod general secretary the Reverend Alex Maulana has said the synod is geared to rebuilding its image after an election that divided delegates on Monday.
There was tension and chaos during the synod’s biennial conference following differences on which constitution to use. The synod has a new constitution developed in 2004 which was yet to be rolled out.
One group preferred the new constitution which gives powers to two out of every three members from the synod’s zones to vote while another group, led by former CCAP General Synod moderator the Reverend Silas Ncozana, wanted the conference to use the old one which allows all delegates to the conference to vote.
The former was eventually used and Ncozana and other delegates walked out.
During the elections, Maulana and synod moderator the Reverend Rabson Chinkwezule retained their seats.
In an interview Tuesday, Maulana said the synod will focus on an image building drive.
He said: “What remains now is to build the image that has been dented by the elections. We need to forgive one another and move on. I have wronged some people and others might have wronged me. That is all water under the bridge.”
But Maulana described reports of political interference as exaggerated.
Maulana was widely alleged to be bankrolled by governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) functionaries keen to have influence in the church’s flock.
Ncozana, one of the synod’s senior clerics, also urged the synod to reconcile to avoid perishing.
Political and social analyst Boniface Dulani has since described what happened at the Blantyre Synod conference as playing into the hands of politicians.
He warned that politics is slowly creeping into the church, putting it in an awkward situation.
Said Dulani: “They [church leaders] are the ones that attack government when it goes wrong. When the politicians misbehave next time, they will have weak ground to criticise them because of their behaviour.”
The run-up to the synod’s elections was marred by allegations of politicians bankrolling some of the candidates, including Maulana.