11 January 2017

Tanzania: Govt Officials, Six Church Leaders After Me - Mokiwa

Dar es Salaam — The Bishop of the Anglican Church of Tanzania (ACT), Dar es Salaam Diocese, Dr Valentino Mokiwa, yesterday named six individuals whom he accused of sowing seeds of discord amongst Christians in his area of jurisdiction.

He also rejected the directive to relinquish his position, arguing that all claims against him were baseless.

Dr Mokiwa named Deputy Bishop in Chief Oscar Mnung'a, Church's Secretary General Johnson Chinyong'ole, Saint Andrew's Priest John Mhina and former head of evangelism and mission Paul Mtweve as collaborators in the drive to oust him. He also accused Prof Palamagamba Kabudi of giving the wrong advice to Archbishop Jacob Chimeledya of Mpwapwa Diocese and head of the Church in Tanzania.

The Bishop also took a swipe at government officials claiming they were collaborating with Archbishop Chimeledya in hatching the design to kick him out. He, however, did not disclose names of the said government officials.

In his rejoinder, Prof Kabudi refuted Dr Mokiwa's allegations against him, calling them uncoordinated and defamatory. He said Dr Mokiwa was aware that his advice to the Archbishop and the House of Bishops was privilleged and confidential. "I served him well as advisor when he was the archbishop; I also advised Donald Mtetemelwa during his term in office, nobody accused me of wrong advice...why now?" he questioned.

"I'm a highly respected person who knows my obligations. Everything is clear in the archbishop's letter. People should read the letter and draw conclusions," he added.

Dr Mokiwa, who was speaking for the first time in public about the allegations levelled against him in Archbishop Chimeledya's letter demanding him to resign and retire over ethical misconduct, failed to respond to the concerns.

In the 14-page document, Dr Mokiwa is accused of fraud including withdrawing over Sh200 million deposited in the church account and spent without knowledge of the authorities and the signing of shoddy contracts related to church properties.

The Saturday document accuses his leadership was campaigning to isolate the Diocese from the province.

"We have no conflict in the diocese, there are some people, including Prof Kabudi, who is a reputable lawyer and who serves as the archbishop's advisor, who are creating disputes in order to fulfil an ill-mission of taking over the diocese," Dr Mokiwa claimed.

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