PR Stunt: Chakwera Forces Assemblies of God To Issue A Press Release Against Malawi Voice
In an article published by Malawi Voice on Sunday, March 11, 2018, titled “Assemblies of God Wants Chakwera to Refund K100 million He Stole from the Church”, the following false allegations were made which we, as a church, would like to refute in their entirety:
- Malawi Voice alleges that Dr. Chakwera “stole hundreds of millions worthy of money from Assemblies of God Press when he was the very President of the Church.” This is totally false. The Malawi Assemblies of God Press is governed by a Board, not the church President. Had Dr. Chakwera tried to steal any money from AG Press, the Board would have stopped it, and had any money been found to be unaccounted at the end of Dr. Chakwera’s tenure as President, the Board would have summoned him to account for it. Additionally, this allegation is inconsistent, for while the headline claims the amount stolen is one hundred million kwacha, the article contradicts this by claiming that the amount stolen is not one hundred million, but “hundreds of millions”. This allegation is totally false.
Malawi Voice alleges that “the court told the Church to pay K100 million to Mr. Zungeni for unfair dismissal” from his position as General Manager of AG Press. This is totally false. No court in Malawi has ordered the Malawi Assemblies of God Church to make the purported payment.
Malawi Voice claims that the alleged court case is “represented by Ambukile Salim” and that in the case, “Mr. Zungeni successfully proved with a chain of emails that it was Chakwera the then President of the Church who was demanding and using the money.” Both these allegations are totally false. No individual named Ambukile Salim represented the case and no evidence was presented or proven to exist substantiating any claims of impropriety on the part of Dr. Chakwera.
Malawi Voice alleges that Dr. Chakwera “tried to change the ownership of the Area 9 Church house into his name” and that he hopes “to return the stolen house back to the Church before campaign begins”. Both these allegations are totally false. The Area 9 house in which the Church lodged Dr. Chakwera when he was our President is not now nor has it ever been owned by the Malawi Assemblies of God Church. The house is the property of Press Corporation, and the Church was merely renting it, and at no point during his stay in the house while he was our President did Dr. Chakwera try to change the house into his name, nor would such a thing be possible under the laws that govern change of property ownership. As such, there is no stolen church house that needs to be returned to the Church, since the house is presently neither owned by the Church nor is it still rented by the Church.
Malawi Voice alleges that by the end of his tenure as church President, Dr. Chakwera had “a record of torturing pastors when he was a church leader.” This is totally false. As far as the Malawi Assemblies of God is concerned, Dr. Chakwera served with honor, integrity, humility, and distinction as a Church Minister in the Malawi Assemblies of God for 30 years before joining front-line politics. He also served as President of the Malawi Assemblies of God for 24 years, during which the Church thrived and grew, and continues to do so, thanks to the contributions he made. Today, though holding no office within the Church, Dr. Chakwera is still a licensed, credentialed, and ordained Minister of the Malawi Assemblies of God, with all the responsibilities thereto appertaining, and is a man in excellent standing with the Church.
Lastly, we have deliberately not addressed the allegations Malawi Voice has made in the article about Dr. Chakwera’s leadership as a politician. This is because Malawi Assemblies of God has no input or involvement in his leadership as a politician, for we are a Church that does not align itself politically with any party or individual, not only out of obligation to focus on our mission as a church, but also out of respect for the freedom of our church members to exercise their constitutional right to engage in politics according to the dictates of their conscience. Therefore, we wish to inform the general public that any news publication that claims or insinuates that the Malawi Assemblies of God as an institution has a political agenda should be regarded as fake news. Further, we wish to inform Malawi Voice that should the publication of false stories about the Malawi Assemblies of God continue, the Church reserves its right to seek redress in a court of law and disabuse itself of these unsolicited, unwarranted, and unsubstantiated acts of defamation. Any rumours concerning issues to do with Malawi Assemblies of God should be verified with the National Board of Administration (NBA) housed within the Sheaffer Complex.
Reverend Matilda Matabwa,