Top leadership of the Nkhoma Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) is reportedly embroidered in a financial scandal where funds amounting to K50 million is said to be missing.
According to a CCAP cleric close to the top Synod leadership, the money was recently provided to the Synod by the United States Aid Agency (USAID) for the implementation of several targeted development projects under the Synod.
However, the money is believed to have been swindled by a “two or three people” and that the theft has been exposed after USAID continually pressed the Synod to account for the funds, according to the high-ranking cleric.
“Some of us were not aware of the money having been transferred into the Synod bank account and later withdrawn rather suspiciously until USAID officials started frequenting the Synod, demanding for an explanation on how the money was spent,” said the cleric, preferring anonymity.
A hastily convened meeting of the Synod’s leadership on Saturday, May 17, 2014 held at Lilongwe CCAP could not agree on how they would raise the money as USAID is demanding a refund if the money was diverted to other projects or swindled.
Members did not understand how such a huge amount of money could be spent behind their back.
Nkhoma Synod General Secretary, Reverend Vasco Kachipapa was at pains to at the meeting explain how the money had disappeared. Deputy General Secretary, Reverend Stephen Chirwa and the Moderator, Reverend Dr. Chatha Msangambe also attempted to justify why the money was diverted to “equally important projects” to no avail.
According to the cleric, for the sake of progress, the meeting agreed that they would request all the presbyteries under it to implement special fund-raising activities besides the usual Sunday church offerings by members to meet the deadline for the refund as demanded by USAID.
Reverend Kachipapa could not comment when Nyasa Times introduced the subject. A USAID official, who also preferred anonymity, however, confirmed “there is suspicion money may have been abused by some members of the Synod”.
Nkhoma Synod, whose main catchment area is the Central Region issued a Pastoral Letter on March 17, 2014, advising Malawians to choose a leader “who is accountable and transparent”.
In the Pastoral Letter, entitled “Renewal and Regeneration of Our Nation: A Call for Church”, the Synod’s leadership condemned the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill, popularly known as ‘Cashgate Scandal’.
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