STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE APOSTOLIC FAITH MISSION INTERNATIONAL (AFM INTERNATIONAL) ON 14 DECEMBER 2018 REGARDING THE SITUATION THAT HAS ARISEN WITHIN THE AFM IN ZIMBABWE.
Ladies and Gentlemen thank you very much for coming to this media briefing by the leadership of the AFM International.
The AFM International leadership present here with us comprises Rev. Frank Chikane who is the President of the AFM International, Rev. A Madziyire, the Deputy President of the AFM International and Past MG Mahlobo, the AFM International Secretary General.
The AFM International leadership was invited to come and assist in resolving the situation that has arisen within the AFM in Zimbabwe by Rev. A Madawo and his Executive.
The AFM International is the fellowship of the AFM churches from those countries in which AFM church exist.The AFM in Zimbabwe is a member church of the AFM International.
WORKERS COUNCIL OF 15 SEPTEMBER 2018
For purposes of this briefing, I would like to start with the church’s National Workers’ Council (WC) which was convened on 15 September 2018, as per the Court order.
Among other things, the Court order compelled the leadership of the AFM in Zimbabwe “to consider an agenda item that the Workers Council meeting of the 28th April 2018 was supposed to, but did not, deal with, namely to consider if deemed fit, to pass, with, or without amendments the draft amendments to the constitution of the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe that were circulated to Provincial Council Members in accordance with Section 12.6 of the constitution of the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe.”
The 15 September 2018 Workers Council resolved that the Reform document, with the exception of the part that deals with election, should be subjected to a further consultative process.
The Apostolic Council, subsequently, took a decision that the church’s elections would be conducted on the basis of the current constitution.
Those who were not happy about the 15 September 2018 WC’s decision on this matter convened a meeting on 20 September in Gweru which comprised mainly of pastors (307 pastors and 4 elders).
The meeting in Gweru took a decision to launch an urgent Court Application to nullify the 15 September 2018 WC; to hold “Workers’ Council” on 22 September 2018 at Rufaro and to appoint an Interim National Executive to defend the Constitution up to Saturday the 22 of September 2018.
RUFARO MEETING ON 22 SEPTEMBER 2018
On the 22 September 2018 a meeting was convened in Rufaro by the leadership elected in Gweru.
This meeting elected an interim leadership with the former Deputy President, Rev. C. Chiangwa as its interim President. It also passed a “vote of no confidence” on the current Executive of the church which included the former President, Rev. A Madziyire.
RUFARO MEETING ON 20 OCTOBER 2018
On 20 October 2018,another meeting was convened by this Group in Rufaro where the former Deputy President, Rev. C Chiangwa, was elected as President of the AFM in Zimbabwe.The meetings on 22 September 2018 and 20 October 2018 went ahead despite the pronouncement by the then Executive that they were unconstitutional.
WC ON 03 NOVEMBER 2018 IN RUFARO
On 3 November 2018 the AFM under the leadership of the former President, Dr A Madziyire convened an elective WC in Rufaro. Rev. A Madawo was elected as the new President.
The above developments, subsequent to the 15 September 2018, effectively created a situation of two AFM Groups.
The Court of the land has been approached to make a pronouncement on which of the two are the legitimate AFM in Zimbabwe.
Whereas the WC on 15 September 2018 did not comply with the AFM International’s Intervention Report, it is our view that the 21 September 2018 Apostolic Council decision complied fully with the AFM International’s report.
In the light of this, all church structures that were formed on the basis of the decision of the Apostolic Council of the 21 September 2018 are official in our view.
IMPACT OF THE CREATION OF PARALLEL CHURCH STRUCTURES
The existence of two Groups has led to the creation of parallel church structures existing side by side.
The current situation has led to a situation of uncertainty among members and pastors when it comes to which Group to belong. Furthermore, an acrimonious relationship between the two Groups continues to damage the church’s image.
The leadership of AFM International was invited by Rev A Madawo to assist the leadership in normalizing the situation.
AFM INTERNATIONAL’S ADVICE TO THE AFM CHURCH LEADERSHIP
Return to one united and reconciled AFM in Zimbabwe
- Declare an immediate end (ceasefire) of all hostile activities from the bottom (local Assemblies) through Provinces to the National leadership of the Church;
- Suspend and reverse all disciplinary actions against each other at all levels of the Church;
- Open all AFM Churches and facilities in Zimbabwe to all members of the Church and the public – No one should hinder anyone from worshiping in any church of the AFM in Zimbabwe;
- Immediately commence with Reconciliation and Healing at all levels of the Church; and
- Normalize relationships between the leadership of the AFM in Zimbabwe at all levels of the Church.
That the time frames of the consultative processes on the proposed reforms (amendments to) the Constitution to allow normalized Assemblies to participate in the processes without any hindrance.
Exporting divisions within AFM in Zimbabwe to AFM Internationally
We discourage anyone within the AFM in Zimbabwe and internationally to export the divisions and conflicts in Zimbabwe to AFM churches internationally.