AFM fire keeps burn­ing

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - SOCIETY - Brian Chitemba

PROB­LEMS be­dev­illing the Apos­tolic Faith Mis­sion in Zim­babwe are far from over as sus­pen­sions of of­fi­cials con­tinue de­spite prom­ises by the new church pres­i­dent, Rev­erend Amon Madawo, to unite the trou­bled flock.

Soon af­ter tak­ing of­fice ear­lier this month, Rev Madawo vowed to re­solve dif­fer­ences between his fac­tion and that led by his bit­ter ri­val, Rev Cos­sam Chiyangwa.

How­ever, Rev Madawo’s camp has served pas­tors al­legedly aligned to Rev Chiyangwa with sus­pen­sion let­ters signed off by a Rev Tembo.

One of the af­fected pas­tors is AFM Dzi­varasekwa leader Rev Olga Ma­raura, who was sus­pended without ben­e­fits on No­vem­ber 14, 2018.

She was or­dered to ap­pear be­fore a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing on De­cem­ber 1, 2018.

Rev Ma­raura said she would snub the “il­le­gal hear­ing” be­cause Rev Tembo had no le­gal right to sus­pend her.

The sus­pen­sion let­ter reads, “It is al­leged that you are one of the pas­tors in AFM Harare West prov­ince who did all, some or any of the fol­low­ing;

◆ “De­clared your al­le­giance to the Chiyangwa led break­away group to your as­sem­bly or the provin­cial com­mit­tee or a provin­cial com­mit­tee mem­ber. “Ab­sented your­self from the provin­cial elec­tions held by our prov­ince on Oc­to­ber 6, 2018. “At­tended elec­tions held by the Chiyangwa led break­away group. “Hedg­ing your bets between iden­tity with ei­ther the Chiyangwa led break­away group and the main group led by the prop­erly elected lead­er­ship of the church.” Rev Ma­raura was also charged with breach­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels by dis­cussing the AFM con­sti­tu­tion at meet­ings not sanc­tioned by the church lead­er­ship.

How­ever, Rev Chiyangwa’s gen­eral sec­re­tary Dr Nathan Nhira shot down the sus­pen­sions, say­ing Rev Madawo lead­er­ship was voted out and the courts were yet to rule on the con­tests.

“The pur­pose of this let­ter is to ad­vise your as­sem­bly or board not to con­sider cor­re­spon­dences from Rev Madawo and Rev Tembo,” he wrote to af­fected clergy.

“Your provin­cial com­mit­tee will com­mit­tee to ad­dress your board and con­gre­ga­tion at the ear­li­est con­ve­nience in or­der to re­move the con­fu­sion that might have been caused by th­ese let­ters.”

Rev Ma­raura said she was be­ing pushed out de­spite even erect­ing a three-storey build­ing for AFM.

“I am not go­ing any­where; I am here to stay,” she added.

Rev Madawo did not re­spond to ques­tions sent to him last week.

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