From Anglican Information
MALAWI – Diocese of Upper Shire: The recent failure of the Anglican Central African Provincial bishops to endorse their candidacy of the Rev’d Brighton Malasa as the new Bishop of Upper Shire diocese indicates a hesitancy about his extreme youth and more especially continuing allegations against him for embezzlement, immorality and drunkenness. The House of Bishops is divided between those who want a thorough investigation of Malasa (who was former Archbishop Bernard Malango’s one time chaplain) and those who want to push ahead. Laity and clergy keep a close eye and ear on the bishops, who are given to unguarded comments overheard as reported from Malawi below:
‘We are very embarrassed with some comments from some bishops from this Province of Central Africa saying that their proposed bishop “should not worry about accusations leveled against him” because they too were “in the same situation and we still went through courts of confirmation and consecrations”. This shows some of our bishops are spiritually bankrupt. Bishops need to be people with holiness, integrity, sound morals etc and not be bogus holy men.
ANGLICAN-INFORMATION observes that this is sadly historically true. The previous bishop of Upper Shire, Bernard Malango, for example, came from Zambia under cloud of accusations and a court case regarding embezzlement.
The correspondent continues with a widely felt concern that Malawian appointments are now being stage-managed by outsiders:
‘We are no longer Rhodesia and Nyasaland but Malawians in Malawi. We deserve respect as a church here in Malawi. We are fed up with such kind of behaviors because of your attitudes towards Malawi Church. Please forthwith stop and leave Malawians alone, no interference. Leave us alone for our future in Malawi as a church. After all do you contribute anything to Malawian Church for its growth? It’s the poorest church in the Province. And yet you boast on what white man left for you in your countries’.
ANGLICAN-INFORMATION notes that there are now three dioceses in Malawi and one in Zimbabwe, without bishops:
- Lake Malawi, whose people still insist on a proper Court of Confirmation for their elected bishop.
- Northern Malawi, now vacant following the resignation of Bishop Christopher Boyle who is returning to England as an assistant bishop in the Diocese of Leicester.
- Upper Shire, where the people are challenging the imposed candidacy of Brighton Malasa. Harare, where an election for a new bishop is due in April.