AFM Zimbabwe locked out over internal power struggles

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

THE Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM Zimbabwe) was last week barred from taking part in elections to choose the denomination’s international leadership due to power struggles.

Instead, Zimbabwe was forced into an observer status at the just ended elections held in Kenya at the weekend despite having shown interest.

Aspher Madziyire and Cossum Chiangwa are at each other’s throats over who should lead the church. The acrimonious relationship between the rival leaders has damaged the apostolic organisation and at some point rival camps supporters ended up in first fights.

Madziyire, who is sitting on a vote of no confidence, attended the event in Nairobi, Kenya.

Last year, AFM International was invited by the local church to come and assist in resolving the leadership crisis, which had led to the two camps creating parallel structures.

In October last year, the church split in the middle with Chiyangwa claiming leadership. Much of the disagreements centred around proposed changes to the church constitution with lawyer Tawanda Nyambirai accused of amending the governance charter without consulting church council.

It has been argued that the reforms were aimed at perpetuating Madziyire’s stranglehold on power while Chiyangwa has been accused of resisting the reforms because they seem to take away access to funds.

South African Rev George Mahlobo is now AFM International president after getting 80% of votes and will be deputised by Batswana Rev Jobe Koosimile. He is the president of AFM in Botswana.

Rev Henri Weiderman is the secretary general and serves in the same position at AFM South Africa.

Zimbabwean Rev Josh Chigorimbo is the treasurer general and he is the deputy president AFM UK.