The Diocesan Standing Committee meeting which was scheduled to take place yesterday in the Anglican Diocese of Upper Shire at Malosa in Zomba was not conducted following threats from Anglicans who are demanding resignation of Bishop Brighton Vitta Malasa.
Organizers received reports that anti-Malasa Anglicans planned to disrupt the meeting in presence of Church’s Provincial Archbishop for Central African Albert Chama.
Speaking during press briefing at St George Anglican church in Zomba on Friday, Spokesperson for the petitioners John Awadi said the meeting was cancelled after Bishop Chama was advised not to come on security grounds.
Awadi told reporters that his team wanted to disrupt the meeting as a sign that whatever Bishop Chama is doing, especially playing delay tactics on the issue to have bishop Malasa resign, is not pleasing them.
“We wanted to send a warning to the provincial bishop that we are really angry on the way he is handling issues demanded by us to see Malasa voluntarily resign from the position of Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Upper Shire,” said Awadi.
The petitioners are demanding removal of Bishop Malasa over various allegations.
Awadi also said his group was more disappointed to see Bishop Chama planning to preside over the diocesan meeting which wanted to discuss the allegations against Bishop Malasa without involving the petitioners themselves.
“We wondered to see that Bishop Chama wanted to preside over the judgement regarding our concerns on the meeting while excluding us from the programme,” Awadi added.
Awadi further said that petitioners expected Provincial Archbishop to meet them over their concerns before holding diocesan synod on their absence.
According to Awadi, the group has since lost interest in archbishop Chama to handle this issue and has asked him to recuse himself from the matter and to rather engage an independent person because Bishop Chama is an interested party.
On the way forward, the petitioners have threatened to physically remove Bishop Malasa from diocesan house at Malosa and transfer him to his home village after expiry of seven days.
The anti-Malasa Anglicans wrote Zomba district council and Zomba police on Thursday notifying the two offices on the plan to disrupt the scheduled meeting.