By Mary Taruvinga
AFM in Zimbabwe president Bishop Amon Madawo has refuted claims he ordered Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa to leave the church and focus on politics.
Madawo told NewZimbabwe.com in an interview Wednesday this was a smear campaign by the church’s rival faction led by Cossam Chiyangwa.
This comes after a poster purportedly advertising Chamisa as one of the preachers at its youth conference to run April 9-10.
It however later emerged that the actual preacher on the original poster was one Reverend Musvubi.
Reports suggested Madawo has rebuked Chamisa for it, telling the firebrand politician to leave preaching and desist from using the church to pull crowds.
But Madawo said all that is not true.
“AFM in Zimbabwe has nothing to do with what he (Chamisa) is doing,” the top cleric said, adding: “Nelson Chamisa is not an AFM In Zimbabwe pastor. He was never ordained as an AFM In Zimbabwe pastor. He never sought ordination after he went to Living Waters Theological Seminary an AFM in Zimbabwe which trains all those who seek training regardless of their denominational affiliation,” he said.
Madawo went on to lay the blame on Chiyangwa.
“Our AFM IN Zimbabwe National Youth Conference advertising poster was doctored by our erstwhile brothers to tarnish the good image of the church. If you observe it very objectively you can see that it is photoshopped,” he said.
Madawo said Chamisa has even called him apologising for the photoshopped poster.
The cleric said Chamisa was also surprised as to who was using his image to tarnish the good name of the church
“AFM is not a not an appendage of any political party,” said Madawo.
In response, Chiyangwa said his faction will never stoop so low as to be drawn into petty games.
“We have no idea what you are talking about. We are not involved in any such cheap politics or games. We are a church focused on God’s work, that’s all,” he said.
“We don’t even know what’s happening in the AFM in Zimbabwe arena,” Chiyangwa added.
This is not the first time Chamisa has been drawn into the church’s fights.
In 2018, there were also allegations that Chamisa has been dividing the church according to political affiliation.
Madawo then dismissed the claims stating that the church was run by any board of directors.
The two warring factions of the church have been fighting for years until the church split last year.
On May 28, 2021, the Supreme Court ruled that Chiangwa was not the legitimate leader of AFM. Chiangwa accepted the judgment and went on to form a splinter organisation he named the AFM of Zimbabwe.
Still, there has been no peace as the two continue to fight over trademarks and properties.