Anglicans hold archbishop under hostage

Anglican Church members from four Lake Malawi Archdeaconries on Wednesday held the Archbishop of Central Africa, Bernard Malango under hostage and closed the Diocesan Offices in Lilongwe in protest against the appointment of a retired Zambian clergy James Mwenda as the new bishop elect.

The development follows the rejection of Reverend Nicholas Henderson, a Briton, who was first choice replacement of Late Bishop Peter Nyanja, before his alleged involvement in gay activities in the United Kingdom came to light.

The Church’s Court of Confirmation endorsed Henderson’s rejection, describing him as someone lacking sound faith.

A group of over 500 Christians who travelled to Lilongwe by hired lorries from Ntchisi, Kasungu and Nkhotakota joined the Capital City team in their protest against the release of a Zambian retired clergy’s name as a new bishop elect for the Diocese of Lake Malawi.

The protesters blocked Malango from leaving the offices at the Diocesan Headquarters, insisting that he address them on the matter, a request Malango turned down and sneaked out through the back door.

“We have closed the offices and ordered all diocesan employees to proceed on leave until the matter is resolved,” said a church elder who sought anonymity, stating that the pro-gay allegations on Reverend Henderson were schemed up to pave way for Mwenda, a Zambian national who is alleged to be Malango’s personal friend.

When contacted for comment last night Malango refused to have anything to do with the Lilongwe incident, saying: “Please spare me time, I can’t comment on that.”

The protests coincided with the departure of Henderson whose recent visit to Malawi brought controversy in the Anglican Church. Malango insisted that the Briton’s visit was private.

Henderson who left the country on Wednesday told reporters before departure at Kamuzu International Airport that the wrangle in the Lake Malawi Diocese was a result of personal differences between himself and the archbishop, saying only the Christians and Malango himself were in a position to solve the conflict.

“As a matter of opinion, this can be resolved, and I am looking forward to the day that I will meet Archbishop Malango and greet him again as an old friend,” said Henderson.