THE Apostolic Faith Mission’s global body (AFM International) has thrown its weight behind the leadership of Amon Madawo as the church’s leadership wrangle took another turn.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
AFM International president Reverend Frank Chikane told a media briefing in Harare yesterday that he had met the warring groups including a breakaway faction led by Madawo’s rival, Cossum Chiyangwa.
“We came here at the invitation of Reverend Madawo to unite the different groups. We do not want to lose any member and even those whose actions are technically unconstitutional we are still calling upon them to return to the church,” Chikane said.
The AFM leader warned the wrangle in Zimbabwe could destabilise the church’s membership.
The church split a few months ago after Chiyangwa’s group broke out, citing irreconcilable differences with the former president Aspher Madziyire.
While Chikane seemed to hold back and sought to use diplomatic language, a statement read out to the media by AFM International secretary-general George Mahlobo was clear the church’s global leadership was in support of Madawo’s group.
“Whereas the workers council on September 15, 2018 did not comply with the AFM International intervention report, it is our view that the 21st September 2018 apostolic council decision complied fully with the AFM International report.
“In light of this, all church structures that were formed on the basis of the decision of the 21st September 2018 are official in our view,” said Mahlobo.
The church’s international leaders called for a cession of hostilities between Madawo and Chiyangwa’s followers.
“We are calling on all to open AFM buildings and facilities to all members of the church and the public. No one should hinder anyone from worshiping in any church of the AFM in Zimbabwe.
“The leadership of the church in Zimbabwe has been urged to immediately begin reconciliation and healing at all levels of the church and normalise relations between the leadership, including dropping all cross-disciplinary procedures against each other,” Mahlobo told journalists.
According to Mahlobo, the existence of two factions had created parallel structures leading to “uncertainty among members and pastors when it comes to which group to belong to”.
“Furthermore an acrimonious relationship between the two groups continues to damage the image of the church,” he said.
“We discourage anyone within AFM in Zimbabwe and internationally to export the divisions and conflicts in Zimbabwe to AFM churches internationally,” the statement