AFM congregants chase leadership from church

THE leadership wrangle which rocked the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) headquarters last month has spilled to the grassroots structures where congregants at The Word Centre Assembly in Marondera turned riotous on Sunday and blocked the transfer of resident pastor, Byron Maforo.

BY Jairos Saunyama

The placard-waving congregants chased away two provincial board members Reverend Tom Mungwariri and one Reverend Chirenga for seeking to transfer Maforo to lead a rural church in the Svosve area.

Mungwariri and Chirenga had to flee after the congregants threatened to beat them up.

“These leaders are unfair. They had come to announce that the assembly’s pastor, Maforo, be transferred to Svosve communal area and replace him with Pastor Ernest Muswere who is currently ministering in Dendenyore, Wedza,” said a church official who declined to be named.

“Our assembly is just four months old and under the leadership of Maforo, it has been growing and this has angered Chirenga and Mungwariri who think the assembly is making a lot of money. We have a vision with Pastor Maforo and no one will remove him from this assembly.

“We put the blame on deputy overseer Reverend Milton Gwizo who is also jealous because the assembly was created from his church. How can they say Maforo is junior and should be relocated to rural areas? Is what the church’s constitution says?
When NewsDay visited the church on Sunday, the congregants were waving placards inscribed Hatidi naPastor Wedu, Muswere Hatimude, National Help Us and Gwizo Leave Us Alone.

Efforts to get a comment from Mungwariri were fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered.

Last month a fierce leadership wrangle erupted within the AFM in Zimbabwe’s top leadership in Harare, raising fears the pentecostal church could be heading for a split after some pastors and elders dragged their administrators to court challenging the way they conducted the church’s presidential and overseers’ elections. According to court documents, some pastors, deacons and overseers from the church’s 20 provinces approached the court seeking nullification of Reverend Aspher Madziyire’s election as president.

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