Church of Central Africa Presbytery (CCAP) Blantyre Synod has said Reverend Stanley Chimesya has got a right to freedom of expression and opinion, saying recent remarks through an audio clip he released in which he bashed President Peter Mutharika’s decision to withhold his assent on electoral Bills recently passed by Parliament were his opinion and not necessarily that of the synod.
In an audio clip that has been circulating on social media, the synod’s prison chaplain for the eastern region Chimesya, bashed President Mutharika’s decision to withhold his assent on electoral Bills recently passed by Parliament.
He is heard openly telling Presidential Press Secretary, Mgeme Kalilani, that Mutharika was wrong to reject the bills.
Synod General Secretary Billy Gama called a press conference the church held in Blantyre o clarify on the synod’s stance, saying Chimesya was expressing his opinion.
Gama said although Reverend Chimesya has a right to freedom of opinion, it was important for Malawians to understand that what he said does not represent the position of the synod.
“Blantyre Synod would like to make it clear that any position by the synod is communicated to the public through its constitutionally appointed spokesperson who is the Secretary General,” he said.
Gama said Blantyre Synod will not be dragged to comment on political issues as this is against its constitutional mandate.
“No, we do not take political sides. In fact, the minister [Chimesya] was making such comments personally and was not sent by CCAP Blantyre Synod. While we appreciate the difference in opinion amongst our membership, we remain strictly non-partisan,” he said.
According to Gama, any position by the synod is communicated to the public through its constitutionally appointed spokesperson, who is the general secretary.