The internecine fighting for the control of the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) in Zimbabwe took a dramatic twist on Friday as the church’s international president Reverand Frank Chikane threw his weight behind the discredited leadership of Reverend Amon Madawo.
Chikane jetted into the country on Thursday in a bid to reunite the two factions that have emerged in the church. Reverend Dr Chikane came after an invitation from Madawo.
AFM in Zimbabwe recently split into two camps after Reverend Cossam Chiwanga established parallel church structures, with him as the president, while former president Aspher Madziyire backed the faction led by his close ally and former secretary general Madawo.
Speaking to the media on Friday, Chikane had this to say
We have been talking to all groups and want unity. We want one church in Zimbabwe that is united.
We have even talked to the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe and they have told us of their consternation at what is happening. We believe even ordinary Zimbabweans are worried that the fighting could affect the country.
We came here at the invitation of Reverend Madawo to unite the different groups. We do not want to lose any member and even those whose actions are technically unconstitutional. We still call upon them to return to the church. We have also talked to Pastor Cossum Chiyangwa and we will continue to discuss.
In a statement issued by AFM International secretary general George Mahlobo, Madawo’s election was above board. The statement read in part
Whereas the Workers Council on September 15, 2018, did not comply with the AFM International intervention report, it is our view that the 21st September 2018 Apostolic Council decision complied fully with the AFM International report,” Mahlobo said.
In light of this, all church structures that were formed on the basis of the decision of the 21st September 2018 are official in our view.
Mahlobo and Chikane both called for a cessation of hostilities in the local church
We are calling on all to open AFM buildings and facilities to all members of the church and the public. No one should hinder anyone from worshipping in any church of the AFM in Zimbabwe.
The leadership of the church in Zimbabwe has been urged to immediately begin reconciliation and healing at all levels of the church and normalise relations between the leadership including dropping all cross-disciplinary procedures against each other.
We discourage anyone within AFM in Zimbabwe and internationally to export the divisions and conflicts in Zimbabwe to AFM churches internationally.
AFM International President Jets Into The Country Today To Diffuse Factional Fights Rocking The Church