AFM di­vorce sealed

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - FRONT PAGE - Brian Chitemba Act­ing Re­li­gious Af­fairs Ed­i­tor

LEAD­ER­SHIP struc­tures in Apos­tolic Faith Mis­sion in Zimbabwe (AFM)’s two camps are al­ready be­ing set up as moves are made to seal the di­vorce be­tween church pres­i­dent Dr Aspher Madzi­ire’s camp and that of deputy pres­i­dent Rev­erend Cosam Chiyangwa.

The two groups are hold­ing par­al­lel elec­tions to choose new lead­er­ship.

Dr Madzi­ire and Rev Chiyangwa locked horns over re­forms to amend the church con­sti­tu­tion.

Last week, The Sun­day Mail So­ci­ety gath­ered that Dr Madzi­ire’s group is known as the ‘Re­form AFM’ while Rev Chiyangwa’s camp is re­ferred to as the ‘Orig­i­nal AFM’.

It is said Rev Chiyangwa’s camp is stick­ing to the orig­i­nal con­sti­tu­tion of the church.

Rev Chiyangwa’s team held provin­cial elec­tions on the 6th and 13th of Oc­to­ber 2018 to choose new lead­er­ship in prepa­ra­tion for na­tional ex­ec­u­tive elec­tions on Satur­day while on the other hand, Dr Madzi­ire’s camp will hold polls on De­cem­ber 31, 2018.

In a no­tice dated Oc­to­ber 11, 2018, the in­terim gen­eral sec­re­tary in the ‘Orig­i­nal AFM’, Dr Nathan Nhira said an ex­tra­or­di­nary work­ers coun­cil will be held at Ru­faro con­fer­ence cen­tre in Chatsworth on Oc­to­ber 20, 2018.

A to­tal of 320 del­e­gates will form an elec­toral col­lege to elect the church’s new lead­er­ship on Satur­day.

Part of the agenda of the meet­ing is to elect na­tional lead­er­ship.

Rev Chiyangwa’s spokesman, Rev Tog­ara Mapin­gure said the ma­jor­ity of as­sem­blies are aligned to their group. He claimed 276 as­sem­blies are be­hind them, against the 87 that are in Dr Madzi­ire’s cor­ner.

He said a to­tal of 762 or­dained pas­tors, out of 855, are ral­ly­ing be­hind Rev Chiyangwa.

Rev Mapin­gure said judg­ing from the provin­cial elec­tions, their camp had more num­bers with 4 072 coun­cil­lors par­tic­i­pat­ing against 1 130 in Dr Madzi­ire’s ‘Re­form AFM’.

“The prob­lem is that the re­form team (Dr Madzi­ire’s camp) vi­o­lated the con­sti­tu­tion by post­pon­ing the elec­tions which were due in April this year. The con­sti­tu­tion’s Chap­ter 9 and also Chap­ter 9 of the reg­u­la­tions all pro­vide that elec­tions must be held af­ter ev­ery three years but the re­form team wanted to change that,” he said.

“The Septem­ber 22, 2018 work­ers coun­cil passed a vote of no con­fi­dence against Madzi­ire and Madawu (gen­eral sec­re­tary) be­cause there was a twothirds quo­rum of the work­ers coun­cil. Madawu says he fired Rev Chiyangwa. He can’t do that be­cause he was also fired by the 22 Septem­ber meet­ing.

“The re­form team also tem­pered with the con­sti­tu­tion so that Madawu suc­ceeds Madzi­ire but he can’t do that be­cause he is less than 50 years old. So if they de­cide to leave AFM, they can do so be­cause they are the ones who are try­ing to bring new doc­trine to the church.”

On the other hand, Rev Madawu wrote to the church lead­er­ship un­der Dr Madzi­ire that the new con­sti­tu­tion will be adopted once con­tri­bu­tions from mem­bers of the church have been in­cluded.

He said the work­ers coun­cil will con­sider the in­put from the church mem­bers by De­cem­ber 15, 2018, af­ter which the new con­sti­tu­tion will be adopted.

“At the work­ers coun­cil meet­ing at which na­tional elec­tions shall be con­ducted, the apos­tolic coun­cil re­solved to ta­ble its in­ter­pre­ta­tion be­fore the work­ers coun­cil and seek the con­do­na­tion of the work­ers coun­cil and the rat­i­fi­ca­tion of all elec­tions con­ducted in line with the apos­tolic coun­cil in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the res­o­lu­tion of the work­ers coun­cil,” wrote Rev Madawu.

In a bid to quench the nasty church fight, AFM In­ter­na­tional pres­i­dent Pas­tor Frank Chikane sent a cir­cu­lar to all AFM pres­i­dents on Septem­ber 28, 2018, is­su­ing in­struc­tions on how to solve the AFM Zimbabwe prob­lems.

He said the AFM Zimbabwe apos­tolic coun­cil must re­solve the con­sti­tu­tion amend­ments by Jan­uary 2019.

“No one should be made to feel that the pro­posed amend­ments to the con­sti­tu­tion are im­posed on them with­out their con­sid­er­a­tion and views,” said Pas­tor Chikane.

“It is our prayer that you will all find it within your­selves - with the help of the Lord - to ex­e­cute these de­ci­sions to en­sure that the unity of the church is not im­pacted neg­a­tively be­cause of a re­form process.”

The AFM In­ter­na­tional sec­re­tary gen­eral Pas­tor George Mahlobo also wrote on Septem­ber 6, 2018, say­ing AFM Zimbabwe con­flicts “have reached a level where they are af­fect­ing the life, in­tegrity and cred­i­bil­ity of AFM In­ter­na­tional”. He urged the AFM Zimbabwe to de­sist from us­ing the courts to re­solve prob­lems but use an out of court set­tle­ment agree­ment to avert the cri­sis.

“Hav­ing done our as­sess­ment, we are con­vinced that the pro­tag­o­nists and an­tag­o­nists in the bat­tle re­lat­ing to this re­form process are pre­pared to rack or de­stroy the church as well as im­pede the move of the Holy Spirit within the church, in pur­suit of their in­ter­ests, in­di­vid­u­ally and col­lec­tively. This is what the AFM In­ter­na­tional is out to stop in the in­ter­est of the AFM Zimbabwe, AFM In­ter­na­tional and the church of Christ,” said Pas­tor Mahlobo.

“We are call­ing on all mem­bers and as­sem­blies of the AFM Zimbabwe to en­gage in 24-hour chain prayers about the cri­sis, that the Lord touch lead­er­ship at all lev­els to act in a way that will save the church and en­sure that it con­tin­ues to pur­sue its min­istry and mis­sion the Lord has called it to pur­sue; and not al­low ad­min­is­tra­tive and con­sti­tu­tional mat­ters to di­vide the church.”

Dr Madzi­ire Rev Chiyangwa

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.