…”You are not our God”- Chikulamayembe council challenges Nyondo and CCAP
The cold war between Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) and traditional leaders under Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe has hit boiling point.
The traditional leaders have warned that should the Synod’s Secretary General Levi Nyondo continue to be a nuisance at funerals in the area, he will be be beaten by angry mourners.
The chiefs have been demanding an apology from Reverend Nyondo in particular and the Livingstonia Synod in general for disrespecting the Tumbuka culture at the funeral ceremony of Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe held at Bolero in Rumphi.
Reverend Nyondo and the Synod of Livingstonia are accused of unsuccessfully attempting to change the programme in order to allow opposition political heavyweights who attended the funeral ceremony to deliver eulogies just like ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
DPP’s Vice President for the South, Kondwani Nankhumwa, who is also Minister of Local Government and Rural Development spoke on behalf of President Peter Mutharika.
Despite chiefs in the country falling under Nankhumwa’s ministry and being a tradition that an official from the ministry speaks at at funeral of a traditional leader, the Synod demanded that Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima and Lazarus Chakwera should speak soon after Nankhumwa had finished his speech.
The synod wanted Chilima to represent all political parties whereas Chakwera was expected to speak as leader of opposition. Nyondo argued it would send a bad message to only have the ruling DPP eulogize Chikulamayembe.
But Chikulamayembe’s subordinates fought back the request, insisting that Nankhumwa was speaking on behalf of the president and it is by protocol that no one speaks after the president at any event. The chiefs then snatched the microphone away from Reverend Nyondo when the church stood its ground.
Speaking on the non-violent fracas with Livingstonia Synod, traditional leaders under Paramount Chikulamayembe said Nyondo behaved like someone who has a bone to pick with the people of Rumphi District.
“We are not surprised because this is not the first time Reverend Nyondo has misbehaved at a funeral. He was a nuisance at late Professor Moses Chirambo’s funeral. May be he is untouchable at the Synod where he is regarded as a god.
But he is a nobody here because only Paramount Chikumayembe has authority over Rumphi. So if the Synod of Livingstonia deliberately sends Reverend Nyondo to be causing unrest at funerals, he will severely be dealt with and put in his place” said Principal Kapemba Botha, the Advisor to late Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe.
Despite being accused of denting the Tumbuka tradition while putting the funeral of Paramount Chikulamayembe into dispute, Livingstonia Synod and Reverend Nyondo have said that that they will not apologise.