By Yamikani Msukwa
CCAP Blantyre Synod, a Presbyterian church, has asked its church ministers interested to run for parliamentary seats in 2014 tripartite elections to step down first.
Speaking on the sidelines of the church’s ongoing bi-annual conference at Multipurpose Hall in Blantyre, Synod’s General Secretary Reverend Alex Maulana said as the church, they cannot bar anyone from contesting or exercising their constitutional rights.
Maulana said they can allow their church ministers to mingle the two, saying “you need to serve one master; first thing first.”
Prior to 2009 general elections, Reverend Daniel Gunya stepped down to advance his political ambitions, but he failed to secure a parliamentary seat. He was then restored and still ministering.
He therefore said those with political ambitions to contest as members of Parliament should resign first to avoid conflict of interest.
Maulana also pointed out they can always re-apply after serving or failing to secure parliamentary a seat, as they cannot be prevented from rejoining pastoral work claiming they were called and ordained by God to serve people at all levels.
He also advised them to be non-partisan because their role is to advise and support government of the day.
“My focus is to develop the synod from rural to urban. We want our ministers not to ne partisan because our as a church is to advise the government of the day. I cannot support any political party because I am not a politician,” Maulana said.
Delegates to the bi-annual conference have also elected Reverend Robson Chimkwezule as Moderator of the Synod, replacing Reverend Mercy Chilapula.
Reverend Edina Navaya was elected vice moderator with Reverend Moyenda Kanjerwa becoming the deputy general secretary. Kanjerwa has replaced Reverend Cliff Nyekanyeka.
The bi-annual conference started on Sunday, August 25 and will end on Wednesday, August 28, 2013.