|Chancellor of Africa University to step down|
Bishop Ntambo Nkulu Ntanda announces his resignation as chancellor of United Methodist-related Africa University. A UMNS photo by Linda Green.
By Linda Green*
April 20, 2007 | OLD MUTARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS)
Bishop Ntambo Nkulu Ntanda will step down as chancellor of Africa University at the end of 2007 due to conflicting legislative and episcopal schedules and duties.
Ntambo, 59, announced his resignation to the university's Board of Directors on April 14. He hopes a new chancellor is chosen by the end of 2007 or the beginning of 2008.
Since 1996, he has been United Methodist bishop in the Democratic Republic of Congo and led the denomination’s North Katanga Area. In January, he was elected to a five-year term in that country’s Senate.
Ntambo told the board he has struggled to be effective in his duties to the episcopacy, Senate and Africa University since his election.
"My commitment to Africa University is for life, but conflicting programs and time led me to make this decision for the benefit of this institution to have someone who would be more effective and make each area of the campus a success," he said.
Congo’s Parliament, which includes the Senate, meets in regular sessions twice a year, as does the Africa University Board of Directors, the Council of Bishops and the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry, of which he is a governing member. The chancellor also plays an important role at each of the university’s graduation ceremonies and during other special occasions.
"The times I am needed at Africa University are also the times I am needed in the Senate," he said. "I feel that it is better to have someone more effective, someone who is fully available to the needs of the university, instead of someone like me who is coming under pressure by squeezing my days and obligations together."
"It is not really to quit as such. I am with Africa University for life."
--Bishop Ntambo Nkulu Ntanda
When elected chancellor of Africa University in November 2003, Ntambo’s mission was to increase support for the United Methodist-related school in Africa and throughout the world. He said he hopes to continue to work closely with local churches, governments, business people and church agencies to help Africa University to train and empower young African people. He also hopes to remain on the school’s Board of Directors.
"It is not really to quit as such. I am with Africa University for life," he said. "I feel that I have to cut down some of my major responsibilities and let other people take over so that we can serve this church in a very good way."
Bishop Ernest Lyght commended Ntambo "on his readiness to make appropriate decisions on how he spends his time" and said the decision to step down as chancellor was done "out of love for the university."
As president of the Africa University Development Committee and episcopal leader of the West Virginia Annual Conference, Lyght said Ntambo "has been an excellent chancellor and a wonderful person to work with at Africa University."
Ntambo told United Methodist News Serve he did not "intend to become a senator." However, his work during and after the civil war that began in 1996 "brought the people to me," he said, citing humanitarian services to people across the Congo and his brokerage of a 2004 peace conference in North Katanga where 250 fighters committed not to fight again.
The citizens of the Katanga Province approached him to be their senator because "there was not anyone on their side to represent their problems to the Senate and defend them." He said he was told "to remember that our suffering and our death would be on your shoulders" if he denied their request.
*Green is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in Nashville, Tenn.
News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or email@example.com.
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