Corruption in Upper Shire Diocese

Richard Bushili, Nyasa Times

From Anglican Information

Corruption in Anglican Upper Shire Diocese, Malawi.

Bishops fail to address the needs of vacant sees.

Reported independently to us by e-mail but see also the Nyasa Times online website, 24th September.

Richard Msosa, the administrator of the Anglican diocese of Upper Shire, previously the diocese of discredited former Archbishop Bernard Malango, has reported that the Diocesan Standing Committee has terminated the employment of Richard Bushili, Education Secretary for theft of donor monies put at Malawi Kwatcha 1000,000 (£3,700 $6,800 Euro 4,600).

Msosa reports that, in addition to the cash, Bushili had been selling off equipment donated for school use such as text-books and pens. Much of the money and the donated equipment has come from the English Diocese of Birmingham which has been a partner diocese of Malawi for many years.

This incident is typical of the reason why donor monies are now drying up in Malawi with various bodies withholding their grants. This will no doubt continue whilst there is so much uncertainty both in Upper Shire and Lake Malawi dioceses. The blame for the impasse must ultimately lie with the Provincial House of Bishops for neglect of the two vacant dioceses, for intimidation of clergy and people, for fiddling elections and for seeking to force their own unpopular candidates on the people and clergy. The bishops should not be surprised if they are nowadays portrayed as self-serving bullies who have little concern for their charges.

ANGLICAN-INFORMATION says this must surely be an overstatement, or at least may not apply to all the bishops, but consistently we receive communications to this effect. There is an urgent need for the bishops and in particular acting Dean of the Province Albert Chama to address the situation properly. He must use the correct synodical procedures, communicate directly with the people and ensure that democratic decisions are upheld. The situation in the two dioceses is reaching crisis point. The Nyasa Times article concludes ‘Malango (the last Archbishop) is often accused of engineering the problems’. Albert Chama is usually portrayed as his protégé and as being uncomfortably close to him. If Chama does not resolve the growing crisis soon he must, like his mentor, be replaced.

From Anglican Information


  1. I suppose that this was inevitable in the absence of proper episcopal oversight.

    In the African situation there does always seem to be a gulf between bishops and their clergy and people with a strong culture of deference to the 'big man'. The result makes for some very odd 'bishoping' and allows situations like this to develop.

  2. Anonymous25/9/08

    I cannot believe that the Bishops in the Province are not actively seeking to resolve the situation. Until such time as there is proper oversight in the diocese of Lake Malawi and Upper Shire crises will continue to occur to the detriment of the numerous faithful laity and clergy.

  3. I can believe that the bishops, or at least some of them are derelict in their duties!

    The Malawi situation is both tragic and interesting. It is quite clear from Anglican Information that the people are standing up to the bishops in a way that is new in Africa.

    The 'culture of deference' is weakening there probably because of the growth of modern communication such as the mobile telephone and the Internet. This blog, for example, can now be accessed even in remote areas of the world.

    It's globalisation and democracy online and in my opinion a good thing.

    In the meantime, however it is clear that the Central African bishops need to get their act together to stop being 'bullies' and start being pastors.