By Byron Mutingwende
The leadership of the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) met in the capital on 12 May 2018 to select the committee of the Harare Province amid calls for unity and peace.
Busani Sibanda, the ACCZ Vice President said it was high time the church put aside unnecessary squabbling and concentrate on steering development through working in peace and harmony.
“In the past, the ACCZ has been dogged by unnecessary squabbles that saw a plethora of splits in the rank and file of the church. Some of the causes of the splits were grapevine and mere hatred by those who hate to see progress.
“There were factions sprouting up with some of the church members affiliating to splinter groups based on political affiliation, tribalism and patronage. Our meeting at this elective conference in Harare has given the ACCZ leadership an opportunity to sit on the table and openly talk about the challenges. At the end, we have realised that we are stronger united than divided,” Sibanda said.
Lameck Chitope who was elected into the ACCZ Board of Governors during the elections corroborated the message. Chitope is one of the most senior church leaders and promised to use his vast experience and wisdom acquired over the years to unite the church.
“In terms of age, I am one of he oldest members of ACCZ. I started actively participating in church in the 1950s and can discern where and when a member wants to cause trouble in the church. I will use my newly-acquired role to whip all the church members into line starting from the national leadership down to the grassroots. As an elder, I was totally against the splits that were being spearheaded by those with selfish motives and bent on enriching themselves by abusing positions of authority within the church to amass wealth for themselves,” Chitope said.
Lyphet Matenda of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) Kumuka Kwevakafa who is the ACCZ National Coordinator hailed the stance taken by the church to move together in unison in building the Kingdom of God and uplifting the lives of the generality of Zimbabweans.
“As the coordinator, I am glad I managed to put the warring factions of the ACCZ on one table where we allowed everyone to freely air out their concerns. We are glad that we have found each other and promise to take ACCZ to greater heights,” Matenda said.
Honest Mupepe, the newly elected Chairman of the ACCZ for Harare Province did not waste any time soon after the meeting and engaged the man with whom he had split to form separate churches and agreed to bring their members under one change as a way of putting the words of unity into action.
Mupepe was born into a family that did not practise Christianity but was rooted in the African Traditional Religion down in Masvingo Province. Upon completing his Advanced Level Studies at Lundi High School in Mwenezi in 1999, he proceeded to Harare where he met his wife who later persuaded him to join the Kutenda Kwevapostori Church in 2007.
“By the power of God, I was converted as a Christian and joined Kutenda Kwevapostori Church led by Bishop Augustine Manjengwa. The Holy Spirit came down on me on the day we were fasting in the Pwanya Mountain in Murewa where I was able to see and interpret visions on the very day I accepted Christ as my Lord.
“The Holy Spirit led me to dream, heal the sick and perform miracles. In one of my dreams, I was told to take over the leadership from Bishop Manjengwa but I didn’t accept that reality until we decided to split. In 2014, I founded the Kuyera Apostolic Church, which now has 14 branches all over the country. Soon after the meeting at church yesterday, I picked up the phone to call Baba Manjengwa to unite our churches for the development of the church. To God’s Glory, Bishop Manjengwa accepted my call for unity and today, Sunday 13 May 2018, we are here jointly holding a church service together to signify our coming back together as one church. Prise be to the lord God our Saviour today and forever, Amen,” said Bishop Mupepe.
He alluded to John 14: 27 that reads, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I until you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” as the basis for uniting with his spiritual mentor, Bishop Manjengwa.