Anglican Diocese of the Upper Shire (Adus) has hit back at some of its parishioners advocating the removal of Bishop Brighton Malasa from his position, accusing them of flouting acts of the diocese.
The parishioners have been agitating for Malasa’s removal for allegedly flouting recruitment procedures and wasting church resources.
But in a statement yesterday, the church says the group of parishioners, led by leaders of Saint George’s Parish in Zomba, has personal grudges against Malasa and was operating contrary to the acts of the diocese.
This is the first time the diocese has publicly commented on the matter since last year when the parishioners launched a campaign to force the bishop out of office.
The diocese said the group did not follow the grievance-handling mechanisms.
Reads the statement in part: “In the matter of the grievances raised by some parishioners from Saint George’s Parish, we note with deepest concern that the same are being dealt with outside known and acceptable church structures.
“Meetings are being held contrary to the acts of the diocese and canons and without permission from relevant diocesan authorities. Such meetings are illegal and the decisions arrived at are of no practical effect.”
The diocese said it was surprised that the concerned parishioners are behaving contrary to the guidance of Zambia-based Primate and Archbishop of the church in Central Africa Province Albert Chama who visited the diocese this year in an attempt to resolve the differences.
After his visit to the diocese, Chama issued a communiqué on March 10 2019 where he provided his archiepiscopal guidance in which he told representatives of the disgruntled parishioners he could not remove Malasa without following the church’s doctrines.
The diocese has also condemned what it described as violence perpetrated by the concerned group in some parishioners.
Last Saturday, the concerned group, representing 35 out of 41 parishes under the diocese, held a press conference in Zomba where its leaders underlined their resolve to remove Malasa from his position.