In a surprise move the current Vicar General Brighton Malasa of Upper Shire diocese, Malawi, has been appointed bishop of Upper Shire.
The Provincial Bishops of the Central African Province meeting in Lusaka, Zambia (well away from Malawi) have apparently heeded objections to their previous favoured candidate Alinafe Kalemba but instead produced an unexpected and questionable alternative.
No support for Malasa’s candidacy from the diocese had emerged at the original elections for a bishop in February this year.
Malasa is said to be only 30 years old the minimum canonical age for a bishop. His main qualification seems to be that he is a strong supporter of acting Provincial Dean Albert Chama of Northern Zambia.
Our correspondents have said:
‘But there is tension due to his age. It means he will be bishop for 35 years when he reaches 65 years as retirement is required. People have started meetings so that they voice out their observations. This has never happened in this Province and if not careful it will divide the Church in Upper Shire. Since this news has come out currently nobody has applauded but there have only been question marks.’