Zimbabwe: AFM Leadership Row Far From Over

Infighting seems far from over in the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe (AFM) after deacons from rival groups loyal to Bishop Aspher Madziyire and Reverend Cossam Chiangwa approached the High Court challenging the new church constitution adopted in 2018 since they were denied the right to vote on the proposals.

The deacons, represented by Liveours Mundeta, filed an application for leave to institute a class action, that is one that groups all deacons whether or not they are named in the suit, at the High Court seeking the declaration of the September 15, 2018 meeting's decisions and resolutions null and void.

In the application prepared by Arthur Guriro of Guriro and Associates, the deacons claim the then AFM church leaders defied their constitution and regulations by leaving them out in the voting process.

The Rufaro meeting led to the amendment and adoption of AFM's new constitution.

The deacons said they had the right to participate and vote in any of the church's meetings or gatherings by virtue of appointments in terms of the AFM constitution and regulations.

In the application, the deacons said Bishop Madziyire and Reverend Amon Madawo, who were president and secretary-general, respectively, only invited pastors, elders and administrators, disregarding the church's regulations.

AFM church was cited along with Cossam Chiangwa, Amon Chinyeba, Nathan Nhira, Arthur Nhamburo, M. Mashumba, Shepherd Sebata, Aspher Madziyire, Amon Dube Madawo, Munyaradzi Mashumba and Tawanda Nyambirayi.

The deacons now want the High Court to declare results of the September 2018 meeting null and void.

The AFM deacons cited that they constitute a local board of elders consisting of church elders, which made them eligible to participate at the workers' council meeting.

In their application, they also argued that each assembly with voting rights should have had five representatives composed of a pastor, two elders and two deacons.

The deacons also claimed there was another AFM constitution registered with the Registrar's Office in 2001.

They said they were excluded from participating and voting in the workers' council according to the "new and surfacing constitution".

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