The Church of Central Africa Presbytery (CCAP) Synod of Livingstonia has decorated controversial outgoing General Secretary Reverend Levi Nyondo with ‘Defender of the Faith’ designation at an elective General Assembly in Chitipa.
One of the former General Secretaries, Reverend Overton Mazunda, said Nyondo has gone through tough temptations from government and other advocates of human rights during his tenure, but “stood strong to advance the agenda of the CCAP.”
In his remarks, Nyondo said the General Secretary elect should know that the position needs someone who doesn’t fear.
The CCAP Synod of Livingstonia Moderator elect is Rev. Isaac Malongo who was elected in 2018 and was waiting for his term.
In his speech when he was handing over powers to the Moderator elect, the outgoing Moderator Rev. Douglas Chipofya asked the new leadership to ensure they support all departments of the synod ranging from education, health, development and others.
Both Nyondo and Chipofya were fierce critics of the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) during the reign of both Peter Mutharika and his late brother Bingu wa Mutharika who died in office.
Nyondo was arrested in August 2010 after speaking at the funeral of former Cabinet minister Moses Chirambo, who died just days after being dismissed from the government.
At the funeral Nyondo had said it was ironic for the government to praise Chirambo after his death, when it had removed him from the Cabinet. Nyondo said that the government appeared to want the brother of President Bingu wa Mutharika to lead the country after 2014, but the church opposed this and would instead support Vice President Joyce Banda.
Nyondo was charged with sedition for uttering words that could incite public anger.
In 2018 Nyondo also drew anger from Ngoni Chiefs in the across the country when he rebuked the Ngoni culture of booze and polygamy.
During the enthronement of Inkosi Mzukuzuku, Rev, Nyondo irked Ngoni chiefs when he spoke against drinking and polygamy because its sinful and against the doctrine of the Presbyterian Church.
Inkosi ya Makosi M’mbelwa V, the tribe’s king of kings, had threatened to expel the synod from his territory unless it upheld the social contract Scottish missionaries signed to evangelise Mzimba without abolishing their culture that appears to be not in line with the CCAP teachings.
On the other hand, Rev. Chipofya is remembered for his prayer that forced late Bingu Wa Mutharika to respond during a graduation ceremony at Mzuzu University.
In the prayer, Chipofya attributed all the challenges Malawi as facing to President Mutharika’s cluelessness and undemocratic tendencies.
Mutharika was left with no option but to respond to the prayer.