Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Plot to decampaign Rev. MacDonald Kadawati exposed
A group of 15 members from Blantyre Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) has emerged, the aim of which is to discredit Rev. MacDonald Kadawati over the treatment accorded to Rev. Raynold Mangisa after a press briefing at which he attacked the Episcopal Conference of Malawi over the manner it handled its Pastoral Letter.
Insiders say the group has received K2 million from Presidential Adviser on Religious Affairs, Rev. Billy Gama. However, Peter Zaile Kalilombe, one of the self-confessed members of the group, denied the allegations, saying the group only wanted to “clear the air” by forcing the resignation of both the Synod’s General Secretary, Kadawati, Mangisa (as the moderator) and “all those involved in this issue”.
“Actually, we feel that we will uphold the integrity of the Blantyre CCAP Synod if all these people go. We feel like all those involved have let us, church members, down. There should have been a better way of handling the issue,” said Kalilombe.
Kalilombe said developments in the Synod were giving government and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party a lee-way to play “divide-and-rule” in the CCAP Church, a development that would pile on the confusion that already exists between Livingstonia and Nkhoma Synod- two Synods that have been at the centre of a land dispute for decades.
The genesis of the struggle between Nkhoma and Livingstonia lies in the word ‘comity’, introduced by colonizers to prevent religious disputes in 1900. Implementation of the Comity agreements resulted into specific areas in Malawi being distinguished by one particular denomination.
For instance, Dedza district was left as the domain of the Catholic Church, to the effect that all villagers in the area of Traditional Authority Kamenyagwaza and Kaphuka were all Catholic before 1980; Blantyre was for CCAP; So were districts such as Nkhatabay.
However, the 1980s marked the beginning of religious plurality as such denominations as Living Waters Church became established (in 1981) after disagreements in mother Churches.
All this led to the decline in traditional religion.
Commenting on the recent development (formulation of the ‘rebel’ group), Kadawati professed ignorance while Mangisa said he had no comment to make since issues related to the issue were in court.
Mangisa obtained a Court injunction last week, stopping Blantyre CCAP Synod from going ahead with its decision to dethrone him from his Moderator post.
Rev. Gama, on the other had, said people were free to comment.
It is clear, however, that the Blantyre CCAP Synod, more than President Bingu wa Mutharika’s government, has become the biggest victim of the Catholic Pastoral Letter.
Meanwhile, government continues to shun Catholic functions.
But Information and Civic Education Minister, Symon Vuwa Kaunda, has quashed suggestions government was in bad blood with the Catholic Church in Malawi, saying the relationship between the two parties has always been “cordial”.
“These allegations are a figment of the imagination of people of ill-will. The church remains government’s partner in development,” said Vuwa-Kaunda.