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‘AFM in leadership vacuum’

By Veronica Gwaze

Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) senior Pastor Kefias Mujokeri has approached the courts seeking an order to compel the church to call for elections to choose new leadership.

Aspher Madziyire and wife
Aspher Madziyire and wife

Last week, Pastor Mujokeri filed an urgent High Court application against AFM president Dr Aspher Madziyire and 33 overseers.

The man of cloth alleges that Dr Madziyire and other church leaders are clinging to power unconstitutionally following the expiry of their term of office in April 2018.

“This is an application for, in the interim, a mandatory interdict compelling or mandating the 1st respondent (AFM) to set the date for the election of provincial workers council and the apostolic council.

“In the final, to declare the 2nd and 3rd respondents’ (Dr Madziyire and Peter Magejo) continued stay in office unconstitutional and in violation of the applicant’s right to protection of the law as provided by section 56(i) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

“The 2nd and 3rd respondents’ terms of office have already expired and they have failed, neglected and ignored to comply with the 1st respondent’s constitution which requires a democratic election within the election year that ended in April 2018.”

Pastor Mujokeri says Dr Madziyire’s delay to call for elections had created a leadership vacuum.

The pastor’s argument is that for the past 100 years, elections have always been held in the last year of an incumbent leadership’s term to avoid a vacuum.

The AFM constitution’s clause 9.3 says elections to choose overseers are conducted by the provincial workers council triennially to form a provisional council composed of an overseer, deputy chair and secretary.

Clause 13.3.1 provides that provincial councils form an electoral college to elect an Apostolic Council composed of the president, deputy president and general secretary. These are chosen from a pool of elected overseers.

Pastor Mujokeri says the last provincial council elections were held in March 2015, meaning Dr Madziyire’s term ended on April 28, 2018.

“In March 2015, the first respondent held its last provincial council elections which culminated in the election of the third respondent together with all other overseers as provincial overseers and the subsequent fifth re-election of the second respondent into office for a further three-year term of office,” reads part of the application.

“As a result of the constitutional vacuum, the first respondent and its members, including me, have been left without recourse and the immediate past president and deputy president publicly haggling over who has power to call for the necessary conferences to conduct elections.”

In his application, Pastor Mujokeri says some AFM members are pushing for constitutional amendments to allow the incumbent to seek re-election. The Sunday Mail