Malawi: CCAP Church Rejects 'Baby Mama', Blesses Royal Wedding

3 November 2019

Church of Central Africa Presbytery (CCAP) Ntcheu Presbytery on Saturday rejected the formal request made by Ovixlexla Bunya of Lilongwe that she wrote on Thursday, October 31, asking the Church not to officiate the Holy Matrimony between Willard Mswati Gomani (Inkosi Gomani V) and Rishakadza Khanyisa Mathebula, claiming she has a child with the chief.

The officiating clergy pronounced Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani V and Khanyisa Rishaladza Yolande Mathebula, husband and wife at a ceremony held at a jam packed Church of Central Africa Presbytery (CCAP) in Ntcheu.

"Marriage comes from the word of God; God created heaven and earth, he then created a man. God then said it was not good for a man to be alone although man had authority over all the things that God had created; God then decided to make a suitable partner for man," Blantyre Synod Moderator Rev. Masauko Mbolembole said.

It was exactly at 10:30 am when Rev. Mbolembole made the announcement soon after he had asked the congregation as well as the bride and the groom whether there was anyone in the church who had reasons that the Church should not continue with blessing the union.

"Is there anyone in this church who has a just reason that we should not continue with blessing this wedding?" Mbolembole asked the congregation and there was no response.

"Our king, is there a just reason that I should not continue blessing your wedding," Gomani, born Willard Mswati, replied that there was none.

"Khanyisa, is there any reason that I should not continue blessing your wedding," Khanyisa likewise replied that there was none.

"Marriage counsellors, is there any reason that I should not continue blessing this wedding?" the counsellors, locally known as "Ankhoswe", replied that there was nothing that could block the wedding.

This comes after Gomani V also obtained a court injunction against his ex-lover restraining her from taking legal action against the marriage officiation that has now taken place Saturday.

Bunya claims that she and the Inkosi were married and the divorce proceedings of their marriage are yet to be concluded in a magistrate's court in Lilongwe.

"Suffice to mention that the said Willard and I have a child together named Mswati Gomani born on 14th February, 2019," she claims.

But in their letter dated 1st November, 2019, signed by the Moderator Rev. H.G.C. Bleak and Session Clerk L. Kalawang'oma, the Church says one of the Books of Confession of Faith they follow is that of the Westminster.

"In the Chapter 24 [the Westminster Books of Confession of Faith] provides as follows:

Marriage to be between man and woman

No one can have more than one wife or more than one husband

Marriage should be between Christians

Marriage should be between mature people who can give consent

Related people should not marry.

"This means that on proof of any of the above, the Church should not officiate the marriage.

"Our doctrines and teachings on the celebration of marriage require us to give opportunity to object to any intended marriage celebrations for various reasons including the fact that one of members is already married.

"Where such objection is entered, we are required to ascertain the validity of the objection and investigate within our institution.

"Upon receipt of your objection, we set out to verify the claim of marriage in your objective [and] our findings is that the documents you provided are not sufficient to conclude that there was a marriage between you two.

"According to the Laws of the country, it is a requirement that all marriages, including customary marriages, must have a Certificate of Marriage.

"The summons of court proceedings which you attached to the objection you raised is in itself not proof of marriage, without prejudice to the said legal proceedings.

"In view of the foregoing, our position is that they intended marriage between Willard Gomani and Rishakadza Mathebula complies with the five requirements for the celebration of marriage under the Westminster Books of Confession of Faith.

"We therefore advise that we are proceeding with the celebration of the marriage," says the statement.

In granting the court injunction, Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda said: "An interlocutory injunction be and is hereby granted restraining the defendant (Ovixlexla Bunya) by herself, servants, agents or whosoever acting on her behalf from stopping or attempting to stop the officiating clergy from celebrating of the wedding of the claimant (the chief) and Rishaladza Khanyisa Mathebula."

Bunya had been claiming that two were married because they co-habited for over six months.

The officiating Clergy pronounced the two as husband and wife and that no one else should come with any reasons in their marriage life.

"To enjoy marriage, a man and a woman must become suitable partners," Mbolembole said and observed that suitable partners come to contribute in someone's life and not for fun but in good times and bad times.

Royal wedding was a climax to the annual Umhlangano celebrations

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