Malawi Anglican bishop under fire for leading ‘prayers’ at Mulli

The Right Reverend Brighton Vitta Malasa, the Anglican Bishop of the Upper Shire Diocese has come under intense fire from his flock for being among the ‘officiating clergy’ at ‘New Year Prayers’ held at Mulli Brothers Limited Headquarters in Chigumula, Blantyre “without appropriate justification”.

There were ‘New Year Prayers’ at Mulli Brothers premises on Wednesday “to pray for blessings in 2013” and according to an Anglican Christian who attended the function, “it was all politics and not prayers.”

“It was all politics where the officiating clergy that also included former president late Bingu wa Mutharika’s  advisor, Reverend Bill Gama and Reverend Misheck Nasiyaya, both of the Blantyre Synod, kept on referring to the former DPP regime in their sermons.

“They insinuated Malawians were better off before Mutharika died and the subsequent loss of power by the DPP. They said the new government had brought misery to Malawians,” said the Anglican, who preferred anonymity.

Bishop Malasa: Gave a sermon at Mulli Brothers

He said Leston Mulli, owner of Mulli Brothers Limited, who is a known non-worshipper, was granted the ‘pulpit’ to speak and spoke strongly against the current government, which he felt was stifling his once mighty business empire.

Another Anglican who did not attend the prayers “but heard about them” said he was disappointed that the “whole Bishop would be entangled in cheap politics”.

“We all know he was sympathetic to the previous regime; we all know Rev. Gama and Rev. Nasiyaya were Bingu boys. But times have changed. As Men of God, they ought to move with the times and stop living in the past. The Very Reverend Malasa should be the first to realize that he has the larger Diocese to take care of than just personal political interests,” said the Christian, only identified as Mphangala, of Chiradzulu.

In 2009, Bishop Malasa was ordained the second Bishop of the Upper Shire which became a Diocese after receiving autonomy from the Diocese of Southern Malawi in 1998. He succeeded Archbishop Bernard Amos Malango who retired in December 2007.

The Diocese of the Upper Shire of the Anglican has 24 parishes and covers the political districts of the Eastern Region and parts of Mwanza and Phalombe.

Leston Mulli was a close business associate of the late President Mutharika. He has recently taken a swipe at the current Joyce Banda administration for allegedly working to “kill his businesses”.

However, his ‘crumbling’ business empire suffers from numerous lawsuits bordering on unpaid bank debts.

Meanwhile, it has been learnt that Reverend Nasiyaya who in 2010 had relocated to South Africa to head the Johannesburg CCAP has returned to Malawi and will be vying for the position of General Secretary of the Blantyre Synod of the CCAP. Reverend Billy Gama wants to deputize him.

According to an insider at Blantyre Synod, Rev. Nasiyaya was allegedly “chased” from Jo’burg CCAP for unspecified reasons and that since his return a few weeks ago, he has been “maneuvering to position himself for the seat when elections are due”.

Elections at the Synod were held in August 2011 where Reverend Alex Maulana was elected General Secretary and Reverend Mercy Chilapula Moderator.

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