The Chron­i­cle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

BU­L­AWAYO, Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 7, 1991 — The Evan­gel­i­cal Lutheran Church of Zim­babwe’s two-year power strug­gle, which threat­ened to split the church, has fi­nally been buried with the elec­tion of a new bishop-elect, the Rev­erend David Dubani Si­phuma of Beit­bridge.

Rev Si­phuma was elected at an ex­tra­or­di­nary Church As­sem­bly meet­ing held at the church’s Njube Youth Cen­tre in Bu­l­awayo on Satur­day to re­place Bishop Jonas Shiri who led the church for the past 16 years.

Rev Si­phuma beat Rev Ezekiel Gwate from Gwanda, and Rev Tupe Mathe of Manama in the con­test for the post, ac­cord­ing to the church spokesman, Pro­fes­sor Ng­wabi Bhebhe.

The church’s new con­sti­tu­tion stip­u­lates that only the western dean­ery was ex­pected to field can­di­dates for the post of bishop. The deputy bishop will be drawn from the eastern in this elec­tion.

The western dean­ery com­prises the two Mata­bele­land prov­inces and the eastern dean­ery com­prises ar­eas in the Mid­lands, Masvingo and the rest of Mashona­land. Bishop Shiri did not seek re-elec­tion opt­ing to step down to make way for a new lead­er­ship.

Rev Am­brose Moyo, a se­nior lec­turer in the­ory and reli­gious stud­ies at the Univer­sity of Zim­babwe, was elected deputy bishop and Rev Lit­si­etsi Dube and Rev Hen­dricks Mavun­duse were elected deans of the western and eastern deaner­ies re­spec­tively.

Bishop Shiri will con­tinue to lead the church un­til next Fe­bru­ary when the new bishop will be con­se­crated.

Bishop Shiri will be­come a cer­e­mo­nial leader. The meet­ing was at­tended by 182 del­e­gates, 76 of which were drawn from the western dean­ery with the rest com­ing from the eastern dean­ery.

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