Concentrate on church not politics

EDITOR - In your August 28, 2013, issue on the Letters to the Editor’s page, there was a letter entitled; “Open letter to the Presiding Bishop” in which the writer was questioning the wisdom of this Bishop in flighting a congratulatory message in a weekly paper (name supplied) on President Robert Mugabe’s inauguration.

How could he do that on behalf of the whole Methodist membership both clergy and lay which is of diverse political persuasions?

Why congratulate on behalf of all and sundry when in this church not all belong to one political party and where did the money for flighting the expensive message in the paper come from? Furthermore, why did he not go to the inauguration at his own volition?

Indeed, the Methodist Church has people from different political parties and as such must not be taken for granted by the church’s top leadership and assume that all the church members in Zimbabwe are partisan.

However, much was expected since the annual conference was in session when this article was published, that the delegates from all the 12 districts would at least say something to that effect and question the church leadership on this act of betrayal to the church.

Nothing and absolutely nothing was mentioned. I happened to attend some deliberations at this annual conference although not as an official delegate and nothing was voiced to that effect.

What a shame indeed to all these delegates both clergy and lay for paying a blind eye and a deaf ear to this anathema.

I am reliably informed that when the separate sessions of the clergy and the lay were sitting, one courageous reverend stood up and quizzed the leadership on this issue, but no response was given and no follow up was made by anybody in this session.

At the present moment, I am not sure what will become of this reverend for questioning the advert since victimisation has become the order of the day in this church.

What worries me is that the whole MCZ community are now endorsing this madness?

Are we now saying that because the presiding bishop, general secretary and lay president are all partisan, then the whole church has become that as well?

I feel so betrayed by the presiding bishop and his top leadership in that when I have chosen a church to go and worship why should someone betray my political allegiance in the pretext that he is my church leader.

The MCZ does not have an episcopal church governance system where unilateral declarations can be made by the leader without questioning, instead it is a committees driven church, where consultation is the order of the day.

I am out of this system and I pray that one day brave men and women in this church shall emerge, rise and stand as the voice of the voiceless, for justice, fairness and inclusivity.

The vision of this church spells out clearly the issues of justice, fairness and inclusivity which are some of the ethos that drive the mission while they are not practised.

But most interestingly are the facts that lay bare in this annual conference with regards to the financial position of this church which is technically insolvent.

Let us just look at these figures presented by the connectional treasurer who analysed as follows; “Our liabilities as a church are; 2009 — $132 000, 2010 — $358 000, 2011 — $778 000, 2012 — $859 000, and yet the little that is there is recklessly used to appease one’s political party allegiance by placing an expensive article in the paper for political mileage and self aggrandisement.

As I sat in this conference and listened to some deliberations, I sensed some fear among the delegates, especially when it was known that the presiding bishop’s travel to Bulawayo for the annual conference was sponsored by a well-known party stalwart who gave the top guy his Toyota Vigo (even if he has his own) and 200 litres of diesel exhibiting to the whole church what and who this church leader is like.

What beats me in all this is that he is on record encouraging  pastors that they should not be partisan when he himself is! Very disappointed indeed!

Takawira Makoni,

Nyathi Mhenyu

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