2 September 2013

Namibia: //Gamxamub is New ELCRN Bishop

Windhoek — Reverend Erenst //Gamxamub is the new bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCRN) while Reverend Paul Kisting retains his current position as the deputy bishop. //Gamxamub succeeds outgoing Bishop Zephania Kameeta.

//Gamxamub, who has been the head of the Martin Luther Congregation in Khomasdal, was elected at the 25th Ordinary Synod held in Tsumeb from August 24 to 28. He will be consecrated on November 3, Bishop Kameeta announced over the weekend.

The ELCRN also announced that the six acting deans of circuits, chairperson and deputy chairperson positions in the synod have been extended until the next synod elections in 2015.

The ELCRN church has been at the centre of controversy lately, with allegations of unfair suspensions and dismissals, while the long serving Reverend Paul /Goagoseb was suspended recently over allegations of authorising dubious marriages between Namibian women and foreign men.

The elections at the just ended synod also courted allegations that some of /Goagoseb's votes for the position of bishop were given to other candidates. Some church members disapproved of the Tsumeb synod, accusing the church's leadership of using autocracy, victimisation and witch-hunts to ensure their favoured candidates were elected. Accusations of violation of all major church orders and procedures leading to the recent synod elections have also been levelled against ELCRN.

However, outgoing Bishop Kameeta brushed aside the allegations, saying that the synod elections were free and fair, adding that if allegations that some of /Goagoseb's votes were given to other candidates were true, elections for a new bishop and a deputy bishop would not have gone ahead. "That was not an issue for the synod," he said.

Isaac Kaulinge, spokesperson of ELCRN shared Kameeta's sentiments, saying that the process was transparent as they had an independent nomination commission chaired by Joseph McKay and Magistrate Peter Nangula and the Oshikoto regional police to support independent nominations.

"There was no question of things under the table," Kameeta maintained, adding that they used the principle of good governance, accountability and transparency.

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