The Sunday News
Rumbidzai Mhlanga, Sunday Life Reporter
POWER struggles continue to rock the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe (AFM) church with congregates at Bulawayo’s Nkulumane branch at loggerheads.
According to sources privy to goings on at the church, it all started with alleged differences between church leaders at national level, Pastors Aspher Madziyire and Cossam Chiangwa who were president and deputy president of the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe (AFM). The tiff between the two led to divisions in church, as congregates took sides with their preferred leaders. The divisions have split the lower rungs of the church, with even the smallest branches within the city engaging in petty fights.
Church members at Nkulumane are fighting over the use of the church building, as they have split into two groups.
“As old members of the church we decided to find another place of worship since we no longer wanted Pastor Chigeda as our shepherd. We had our church services there for about three months but we saw it fit to go back to our rightful house of worship because where we were we used tents and it was too far from our houses.
“Elder Gobvu wrote a letter to Pastor Chigeda asking him to allow us to worship with them in the church building but on different time slots. Since they start church at 10.30am we asked for the pastor’s permission to start at 8am. He refused but we went there anyway since we all built the church. That is when all the drama and name calling started,” said the source.
The source added; “There was an incident when the pastor locked the church so that we do not get inside so we had to worship under the tree and he called the police claiming that we were causing havoc at church but police found us worshipping peacefully.”
The church secretary, Briton Tembo, however, said claims made against the “old members” were not true.
“What I know is no one was attacked or got beaten at church. So all the claims being spread on social media are not true. On the issue of sharing the church, by right according to the court ruling on September 4, Pastor Chigeda and his team are not AFM hence they are not even supposed to use the church, but we do not have a problem with sharing the building with them as long as they will not disturb us,” said Tembo.
When contacted for comment, Pastor Chigeda said he was too busy to talk to the media.