The powerful Ngoni chief in the north, His Majesty Inkosi ya Makhosi M’mbelwa V, has minced no words but
lashed out at the Livingstonia Synod of the CCAP Church for stopping the Ngoni from taking beer and engaging in polygamy, warning the church it risks being kicked out of his kingdom.
Speaking in Mzimba, Chief Mbelwa said the Ngonis signed a memorandum of understanding with the first missionaries of the Free Church of Scotland, now the Livingstonia synod, to allow them drink beer and marry many wives.
“The church has no mandate whatsoever to interfere in our culture, beer and polygamy is our culture. I will not hesitate to expel you from my kingdom if you continue interfering in the culture of the Ngoni people,” said the youthful fifth Chief Mbelwa.
As he spoke, traditional leaders applauded him whilst others clapped hands in support but church officials, led by general secretary Reverend Levi Nyondo, walked out of the meeting in protest.
“This memorandum was not signed by me but by my forefathers. If you continue in interfering in our culture, I will sign another memorandum with another church and expel you from my area,” warned the chief looking undisturbed with the walk outs on him.
This is the first time that the church and the chief have fallen out as they have in the past worked closely in development and other areas.
The church has several development programs in the chief’s area in education, health, agriculture, water and others.
Church officials asked for more time before making a comment but the move by the chief is likely to draw mixed reactions from his subjects as it is a divisive issue.