Right reverend Professor Silas Ncozana on Monday stunned delegates to CCAP Blantyre Synod’s 30th Bi-Ennial Assembly when he walked out of the Henry Henderson Institute (HHI) Multipurpose Hall in protest against voting procedures for the Synod’s top positions.
Ncozana walked out of the hall when his efforts to have his name and other ministers on the voters list proved futile.
Voting took ages to commence as some serving and retired ministers demanded explanation from the Synod’s legal advisor Mayor Chisanga regarding their position and status in the church after noting that they were not on the list of voters.
For instance, Blantyre City Presbytery has about 45 serving ministers, but only 24 were allowed to vote, the others were reduced to the benches of observers.
In previous polls, every minister with a congregation and all retired ministers were being allowed to exercise their voting rights, but it was different story on Monday.
Each Presbytery was asked to appoint at least one minister and one elder for every four congregations. It was also put to the delegates that the maximum number of ministers in each Presbytery should not exceed two third (2/3) of their number.
This apparently did not go down well with some ministers including Ncozana who tried to challenge the ‘new’ voting procedures and requested the legal advisor to allow all serving and retired ministers to exercise their voting rights, but his efforts proved futile as Chisanga declined to follow their wishes.
According to Ncozana and other disgruntled ministers, it was unconstitutional to bar other ministers from voting during the Synod’s Bi-Ennial Assembly, which started Monday morning and will end this Wednesday.
But unmoved Chisanga argued that he was following Synod’s Constitution and that his duty was only to moderate the voting process not to interpret the Constitution.
“Professor (Ncozana) be reminded that we are a Presbyterian church. CCAP is democratic church, as such we need to follow the Constitution to avoid chaos.
“We cannot ignore you, Professor. You are the pillar and stone of the church, so don’t feel sidelined, we are just following the Constitution here,” maintained Chisanga, even when it was put to him that the names of the delegates were not discussed and endorsed at Presbyteries level.
Chisanga further observed that “it was very unconstitutional if every minister was being allowed to vote in the past”.
It was at this point that Professor Ncozana – the Chairperson of the Synod’s Advisory Council – just organized his belongings and walked out l in protest against the voting process.
This did not stop Chisanga and the Commissioners comprising Reverend Dr Chatha Msangambe and Reverend Kathoyla (all from Nkhoma Synod), Reverend Quin of Presbyterian Church of Ireland and Justice Mtambo from proceeding with the voting.
Said Chisanga “If people want to amend the constitution it is up to them, but I am glad that this time around the constitution was respected.”
Reverends Robson Chimkwezule and Alex Maulana were eventually re-elected as Moderator and General Secretary of the CCAP Blantyre Synod, respectively.
While Reverend Edna Navaya retained the position of Vice Synod Moderator unopposed.
Chimkwezule retained his position after amassing 225votes, beating reverend Mpate of South Lunzu CCAP and reverend Putani of Johannesburg CCAP in South Africa. Mpate got 83 votes while Putani received 23 votes.
Maulana was also given the second term after amassing 210 while his challengers reverend Paul Mawaya and reverend Lazarus Kadango got 100 and 34 votes, respectively.
“So much has been speculated but this has taught us that the truth is not what people have been saying but what God is saying,” said Maulana in an interview.
Maulana promised to continue serving the synod “diligently.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :