12 February 2019

Namibia: Pensioners Chase Lutheran Bishop Post

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia has been accused of breaking the church's constitution when they allowed preferred individuals over the age of 60 to stand for the position of the next bishop.

This comes after 14 pastors from the church's branches across the country's regions submitted their names for the post from which a bishop and a deputy will be appointed in March this year.

Only those between the ages of 45 and 60 are allowed to stand for the post by the church's constitution.

The current bishop is Ernst //Gam-xamub, deputised by Paul Kisting.

However, Kisting (61), along with dean Simon Tiboth (60) of the Immanuel Parish, are running for the post of bishop, even though they are both over 60.

The Namibian has seen a list of the candidates with their ages next to their names.

Tiboth will be turning 61 in December this year. George Dax, the chairperson of the electoral commission of the church, refused to comment on why the two were allowed to enter the race for bishop contrary to the constitution.

Dax said he has already informed concerned members of the church about the position of the commission, and why this was allowed. People close to the situation said the two were allowed to stand for the post because they are allegedly favourites among the church leadership.

Kisting told The Namibian last week that he would not like to comment.

"You are tempting me for something I cannot really engage in. I cannot comment," said Kisting.

Tiboth said when asked why he was running for the post that he is afraid to comment, before adding that he is surprised people are complaining about his age. He added that he was busy and in a meeting, but that The Namibian should call him later.


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