Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) leadership Tuesday took advantage of an installation ceremony of Traditional Authority (T/A) Mzukuzuku of Mzimba at Ephawemi Headquarters to attack Ngoni Chiefs for practising polygamy, which is contrary to the church’s doctrine.
The synod also threatened to discipline the Ngoni Chiefs and the entire tribe from the church if they continue to promote beer drinking, polygamy and failure to attend church services and other gatherings.
The attack came despite the synod signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with then Ngoni chiefs, allowing them to be part of the church although some of their beliefs contradict church doctrine.
Speaking at the gathering, Synod General Secretary, Reverend Levi Nyondo, said it is sad that the majority of Ngoni chiefs in Mzimba seek the church’s support only during funeral ceremonies.
“My moderator has sent me to say, you chiefs are not serious with the church. You drink beer and even encourage your people to drink. Others have more than one wife. Unfortunately, you are doing this while you know that it is sin and against our doctrine.
“Let me tell you that death is coming and you are going to hell. We are also saying we are going to discipline you in church. On that we are serious,” Nyondo said.
However, the remarks did not please impis [chiefs’ counsellors] and the Ngoni community members, who booed Nyondo.
But this did not deter Nyondo, who specifically said Senior Chief Mtwalo did not even carry a Bible.
Mtwalo could not hold himself but retorted while pointing at Nyondo: “Vyako ivyo ise timwenge mowa nakutola wanakazi umo tikukhumbira. Ni mdauko withu [that is your problem. We will continue drinking beer and marrying as many wives as we wish. It is part of our culture].”
But Inkosi ya Makosi Mmbelwa hit back at the Synod, saying the reverends are not even holy.
“Did we approach the church or it was them who approached us to work together? Why are they trying to complicate the memorandum of understanding which we signed with them? Do they want us to break the MoU now? Watch your tongue!
“Have you ever seen a chief making a mistake? If they decide to discipline us, then I have the mandate to chase them out of our land because we agreed all this,” M’mbelwa said.
He then said, if the synod wants to break the agreement, the chiefs are ready to join other churches and sign another pact.
Nyondo, who escorted synod Moderator Reverend John Gondwe and Deputy General Secretary Reverend Joseph Mwale, left the venue before Mmbelwa spoke.
This is not the first time Nyondo has attacked chiefs, as he did the same during a funeral ceremony of T/A Malengamzoma in Nkhata Bay, some weeks ago.