The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has described the leadership of the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia as a disgrace for openly supporting the UTM Party and MCP alliance.
The party has since demanded the resignation of the synod general secretary the Reverend Levi Nyondo and moderator the Reverend Douglas Chipofya.
DPP regional governor (North) Christopher Mzomera Ngwira made the demands during a press briefing on Wednesday in Mzuzu, where he was accompanied by Minister of Health Jappie Mhango and other DPP and UDF officials.
Ngwira was the first to attack the synod, saying the two clergy members are dragging the church into political parties, adding church leaders should not do that.
He said: “They have openly supported the UTM Party and MCP alliance. They even attended the signing ceremony and endorsed the alliance. They claim the synod is behind the alliance but that is not the stand of the synod. It is their personal stand. I have done investigations and people in the church are not happy with what they have done.”
Ngwira also accused the two of being behind the downfall of Alliance for Democracy (Aford), saying they were giving wrong advice to the party.
“These are not good people. They finished off Aford. They fought their own son Chakufwa Chihana and now they want to fight DPP, but they will not succeed,” he said.
On his part, Mhango also trashed the two leaders, saying if they have failed in the church, they should honourably resign and join politics.
Said the minister: “Follow Chakwera’s example. After noting that he could no longer handle church roles, he resigned. Let them resign and join us in the world of politics. They should not be hiding behind the church. They should come on the ground and we should fight there.”
But in a telephone interview, Chipofya dismissed the resignation calls, saying Mhango and Ngwira have no mandate to demand their resignation.
He wondered why DPP is upset by the synod leaders’ endorsement of the UTM Party and MCP alliance when the DPP and UDF alliance was also attended by the clergy with one of them, the Revered Charles Mawaya of Evangelical Church of Malawi, making a controversial prayer.
“A reverend actually prayed that with the DPP and UDF alliance, some people ‘aona nyekhwe’ [they will see red]. Why did they not fault that? We haven’t insulted DPP, so why should they be attacking us?” wondered Chipofya.
He said the opposition alliance is promoting unity which is in line with church values.
Meanwhile, University of Malawi political scientist Mustafa Hussein has supported the synod’s stand, saying the church has a role to play in advising members on what to do.
He said: “DPP cannot be criticising the church for making suggestions. They are only guiding people on what to do. They can express their views.”