t’s election time in the Blantyre CCAP Synod and, in keeping with the character of our politics, those contesting have never disguised their raw determination to win at all costs, even if it means using the devil to get what should be godly positions. It doesn’t matter whether they do the synod irreparable damage and leave its image in tatters; their eyes are firmly and unblinkingly fixed on the ultimate prize, which is the post of general secretary.
To up the ante ahead of the elections taking place this week, accusations and seedy allegations have been flying in all directions as reverends Alex Maulana and Stanley Chimesya compete to show the world that they are the best at digging up the most damaging dirt about their rivals for power.
Unwittingly, though, what the two are telling us is that they/or the ones they are supporting, in case of Chimesya, are not fit to lead the synod. If I was a voter at the elections, I would shun them and the people they are fronting because their standing is seriously compromised and hopelessly falls short of the standards we expect of the people who lead an institution that claims to hold the highest moral capital.
That’s where the blind pursuit for power will take you. It matters less that you present yourself as the face of the superior power beyond the skies.
Compare the politicking in the synod to the way political parties conduct their campaigns. Would you say Maulana and Chimesya are any different from the foul-mouthed party leaders and zealots? Wouldn’t the two reverends pick up the panga and hack their rivals should an opportunity present itself? Every indication points to the reality that they can maim, kill and harm their rivals for power the same way politicians do. The tools of the political game are chillingly similar no matter where it is being played!
Like political parties, which our synods are, leaders in the Blantyre Synod are pitted against one another along political lines. One camp of reverends is sympathetic to DPP while the other is in the hold of PP. The two political colours have overshadowed everything about the synod, so much so that whatever remains of the God they supposedly serve has been put on hold.
That these are the people who were making some holy noise only a year ago during the tripartite elections is long forgotten. That this was an opportunity for them to show that they can conduct civilised politics doesn’t exist. It’s all eyes on power.
This only strengthens my belief that it’s a waste of time to take the church as the paragon of virtue that holds a special place in our lives. For me, the church is like any other institution and organisation we see around us. If football clubs have hooligans who terrorise people during matches, churches have such rascals in abundance. If other organisations are full of corrupt people who take pleasure in enriching themselves at the expense of the poor, you will find people like them in the church.
The bottom line is that the worst that happens elsewhere also happens in the church as the elections in the Blantyre CCAP Synod have shown us. So, where do the clergy get the moral authority to teach us how we should live our lives? As far as I am concerned, the reverends in the synod have lost their authority—assuming they had it—to lead the church.
In last week’s entry of this column I highlighted the historical leadership problem that afflicts our nation. Whether it is a charity organisation, a political party, government or a church, you see leaders whose primary interest is to serve and glorify themselves and leave the people they should be leading on the periphery.
My message to the contestants in the Blantyre Synod elections and the people behind them is that there is still time to save themselves and the image of the synod. Please withdraw from the charade you are calling elections. There is no God in all this. You are better off standing for political party positions than pretending to be church leaders when you don’t belong there.
My last, angry word, is that the Blantyre CCAP synod, like the church in general, is being used by selfish individuals as a vehicle for human glory, power games and personal achievements. The seat that was supposed to be reserved for God has been taken up by the likes of Maulana and Chimesya.