New bishop in Southern Malawi will succeed Tengatenga

By Bellah Zulu
Posted Aug 27, 2013

[Anglican Communion News Service] A new bishop has been elected by the Diocese of Southern Malawi to replace outgoing Bishop James Tengatenga who resigned after 15 years of service to the diocese.

The Rev. Canon Alinafe Kalemba, priest in charge of Chirimba Parish, was elected as bishop on Aug. 24, at St Paul’s Cathedral in Blantyre, Malawi.

Tengatenga left the diocese to become dean of Dartmouth University’s Tucker Foundation in New Hampshire, but the appointment was later withdrawn because, the university said, his past comments about homosexuality “have compromised his ability to serve effectively.” Tengatenga said he will take legal action against the school but that he would not withdraw his resignation from South Malawi.

In a statement, the acting provincial secretary of the Church of the Province of Central Africa, the Rt. Rev. William Mchombo said he was impressed with the “calm manner in which the elective assembly went about electing a bishop.”

In a media interview, the bishop-elect said that he was “humbled to be entrusted with such a challenging responsibility” and was “ready to serve in that capacity.”

Bishop Brighton Malasa, chairman of the Anglican Council in Malawi and Upper Shire, told the media that he was happy that the people had spoken through their votes.

“He has been duly elected by the church faithful and I wish him well,” he said. “I am ready to work with him and offer my unreserved support to him.

Kalemba, 46, is married with two children. He was ordained to priesthood in July 1994 and has a Master of Arts (Theological Research) degree from Durham University, UK and a Bachelor of Art (Theology) degree certificate from the University of Malawi.

Besides working as a parish priest and training chaplain from the time of his ordination, Kalemba has also been involved in the formation of candidates for ordination training as lecturer and dean and later as principal of Leonard Kamungu Theological College in Malawi.

— Episcopal News Service contributed to this report.