LILONGWE (Papius Liwonde, Malawi NewsNow) –High Court judge Charles Mkandawire has rebuked the CCAP Livingstonia Synod and Rev Chimwemwe Mhango who leads the breakaway faction of Kanengo CCAP that what they were practising was not Christianity and pleaded for tolerance among the two factions.
“Do the leaders, the reverends and Christians of the CCAP Livingstonia Synod really believe in the teachings of the great shepherd Jesus Christ?” wondered Judge Mkandawire when he delivered his judgement in Lilongwe on Thursday that CCAP Livingstonia Synod are the rightful owners of the Kanengo congregation property in Lilongwe.
“If you cannot forgive each other, then I am questioning your Christianity,” pointed out the judge.
Mkandawire noted that both sides are not tolerating each other but asked them to resolve their differences within the church structures, saying the courts should be used as the last resort.
“I am pushing it back to you to resolve this issue without seeing any splinter group,” said the judge
He asked them to resolve the issues through the CCAP General Synod comprising synods from Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe and only then would the property issue come before the High Court for adjudication.
The wrangle between the Synod of Livingstonia and its congregation in Lilongwe came to a head when the synod resolved to suspend the Reverend Mhango after he refused a transfer from Kanengo to Euthini in Mzimba because he was not consulted.
The contentious matter became ownership of the Kanengo church building, its contents and bank accounts which the synod wanted control over. However, some members of the church refused to hand them over.
The court also questioned Mhango’s transfer, wondering if the synod took into account his extenuating circumstances before he was transferred from Kanengo to Ekwendeni and then Euthini but nonetheless said Rev Mhango “as a man of God who has been sent to spread the word of God, does it really matter where evangelisation takes place? If the calling he took at Kanengo had conditions attached before he could be transferred, are those conditions set in stone?”
In his judgement, Mkandawire found that the Kanengo congregation property was acquired through the trustees of the synod and asked the aggrieved parties to lodge their complaints with the synod in Mzuzu.