Blantyre Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) has suspended four clerics who represented concerned church ministers for holding a press briefing without the synod leadership’s consent.
The four are the Reverend Donnex Mateyu Ngalande of Chileka CCAP who is also coordinator of the group, the Reverend Dezio Maloya of Sharpevale CCAP in Ntcheu, the Reverend Frank Mkwezalamba of Madziabango in Blantyre Rural Presbytery and the Reverend Duncan Kananji of Blantyre City Presbytery.
The quartet on Tuesday held a press conference at the synod’s Grace Bandawe Conference Centre where they accused the synod’s leadership of politicising the pulpit by urging clerics to campaign for governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Peter Mutharika in the fresh presidential election on June 23.
But in an interview on Thursday on the sidelines of a press conference, Blantyre Synod general secretary the Reverend Billy Gama said the synod leadership met on Tuesday evening and resolved to suspend the four.
However, Gama—who was accompanied by synod moderator the Reverend Masauko Mbolembole— was elusive on the duration of the suspension, saying the pending hearing will determine the time-frame.
Gama said Blantyre Synod is committed to abide by its policy of being non-partisan when it comes to political affiliations.
During their briefing on Tuesday, Ngalande claimed that the synod leadership held a meeting at Likhubula Youth Centre in Mulanje on May 28 where 95 ministers were taught how to encourage CCAP members to vote for DPP, a claim Gama has dismissed as not true.
Reacting to the suspension, Ngalande said he was not aware of the suspension as he was yet to receive official communication while Maloya said he expected the action from the synod leadership.