Embattled Anglican Diocese of Upper Shire (Adus) Bishop Brighton Malasa can now breathe a sigh of relief following a decision by the provincial committee that has boldly stated that he cannot been removed.
This follows a communique to all Anglican faithfuls of the Upper Shire Diocese released on Sunday March 10 2019.
The communique in possession of Nyasa Times has been signed by the Most Reverend Albert Chama who is the Archbishop and Primate of Central Africa and Bishop of Northern Zambia.
This will put to rest calls for Malasa to be removed as he was accused of mismagement funds, making unilateral decisions when transferring the clergy, getting involved in politics, flouting procedures in hiring staff of senior administrative positions among others.
In the communique, the Archbishop said petition from the concerned members expressed “Vote of No Confidence” in the Diocesan Bishop and this prompted him to give a reminder on how a Diocesan Bishop in the Anglican Province of Central Africa may be removed from Office in accordance with the church’s Constitution and Canons.
He noted that the said Constitution and Canons do provide for three different ways in which a Bishop of the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa may vacate office, other than through death; and these three do not include passing a Vote of No Confidence or adopting impeachment proceedings, and indeed, they do not involve the laity at any stage.
Among other equirements the Anglican Canon 13 (1) states that a Diocesan Bishop can leave office if he desires to resign before the completion of his 65th year and the reignation be sent to the Archbishop in writing and Bishops of the Province shall judge whether the resignation should be accepted or not.
Under Canon 24, it is also possible for a Bishop to vacate his seat if he is charged with an offence which is brought before a Church Court and found guilty and the Archbishop sentences him to permanent deprivation.
Meanwhile, Rev. Chama has appealed for peace and order and as one way of addressing the concerns raised in the petition, the Archbishop has instructed that the Diocesan Standing Committee has to carry out a financial audit by engaging external auditors who will avail the findings to the Archbishop via the Standing Committee.
“Only then will appropriate action be taken in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of the Province. In the meantime the Archbishop is asking for calm while these issues are being processed,” said Rev. Chama.
As for Clergy, Chama said they have protection and means of channeling their concerns to the Archbishop rather than taking matters in their own hands.
“It is our prayer that this time of Lent as a family of the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa, we shall try to fast from bitterness, anger and grudges and reflect deeply on our faith, and where we need to be as Christians as we carry out God‟s mission in the world. What unites us is more powerful than our differences,” concludes the communique.
Bishop Malasa has been under fire since last year when over 35 of the diocese’s 41 parishes demanded his immediate resignation for, among other things, alleged abuse of funds and greed.
Malasa at the start of the year touched obliquely on the controversy when he thanked those who had worked hard to build up the diocese, but “woe to those who worked tirelessly to destroy the people of God in their church.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :