Serious divisions have emerged in the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia between General Secretary the Reverend Levi Nyondo and his Moderator, the Reverend John Gondwe on holding of a synod meeting that would, among others, interrogate Nyondo’s third-term election during the Synod’s 35th Assembly last year.
Gondwe, alongside deputy General Secretary Joseph Vaseline Mwale and a senior cleric Reverend Timothy Nyasulu signed a ‘Consent Order’ from the High Court in Mzuzu on August 23 2017, to have a Synod Assembly on August 25.
The order followed an agreement by Nyasulu and other clerics to withdraw a case from the court, in which they disputed procedures followed during Nyondo’s re-election.
But Nyondo, through his lawyers, Chram Associates and Kita and company, have disputed the order, arguing it has not been signed by legal representatives from both parties.
In a three-page document, the defence lawyers have written Lameck and Company, who are representing Nyasulu and others, they also argue why Nyasulu has signed on his own behalf, but also on behalf of others.
“Further, you have unilaterally allowed Rev JJ Gondwe and Rev JP Mwale, both of whom are represented by Chram and Kita and Company to endorse the said Consent Order on their own behalf, and further, on behalf of the 7th Defendant [Rev Chisunkha] who is also represented by the above two firms, without knowledge and advice of the said Chram Associates and Kita and Company.”
According to the document, Nyondo and other defendants have since applied to the court to have the order vacated, or set aside.
“You may also wish to note that no person, including the mediator, has signed on the minutes of the mediation to express endorsement of the position after attempt at mediation. Our clients reserve the right to withdraw from any attempt at mediation in view of your illegal and lackadaisical acts unless you withdraw the said consent order on your own accord,” it adds.
But in an interview on Friday, Nyasulu said he is surprised that others were refusing to discuss the matter out of court.
“You know that the election last year was marred by irregularities. Our names were dented because there were lies that we had pocketed money from politicians. So, people thought they could not vote for us, and you remember that there was a letter circulating during the meeting last year about the same issues.
“Again, we are against the third-term, because clearly some people manoeuvred their way, disregarding the 2014 resolutions that agreed on two terms only. Now, we have withdrawn that case so that we discuss at church level, and someone disputes ?” wondered Nyasulu.
Nyondo could not be reached for comment, but Moderator Gondwe said he signed the order on advice from the synod lawyer.
Moderator Gondwe claimed that the only lawyer he knows is Victor Gondwe, and not “those others”.
“All right thinking members of the Church want the matter to be discussed out of court, and when signing that order, the lawyer advised me. I don’t know those whom you say are representing us.
“Reverend Nyasulu and others have withdrawn the case, and those sued should say they don’t want the case withdrawn? I will let people judge. My position has been that all these issues be discussed out of court,” said Gondwe.
Meanwhile, Nyasulu and others are yet to withdraw a case in which they claim damages from Nyondo and others on the premise that they were defamed during the course of last year’s meeting.