Tribalism rocks AFM church

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ONE of Zimbabwe’s oldest churches, the Apostolic Faith Mission of Africa International (AFM) in Lobengula, Bulawayo, could be headed for a split amid reports of tribalism and death threats.

NQOBANI NDLOVU
STAFF REPORTER

The church’s overseer Tony Tshuma is accused of fraudulently taking over the reins in 2008 and abusing church funds while threatening those against his leadership with either death or expulsion.

Tshuma is also accused of allegedly grabbing Lydead Range Farm in Gwanda owned by the church.

His son Joseph faces similar charges of threatening church members.

Joseph, who is also a Zanu PF activist, is accused of threatening to use his political connections to deal with congregants who opposed his father’s continued leadership of the church.

However, Joseph — who is reportedly in charge of the church’s farm — yesterday leapt to his father’s defence and denied interfering with operations of the church or grabbing the farm.

He said infighting in the church was on tribal grounds, adding that some congregants were mobilising for his father’s ouster because they did not want to be led by a Ndebele.

“Why were they quiet all along only to come out now to say my father was illegally appointed the church overseer in 2008?

“My father has presided over the church since 2008 and in those years there was never such talk of him having assumed leadership fraudulently.

“There are people who want to take control of the church and are mobilising other congregants to support their moves,” Joseph said in an interview yesterday.

Church members alleged that Tshuma and his son “have personalised the church and its properties”, but Joseph dismissed the charge.

“It boggles the mind why one would accuse my father of stealing church funds at 90 years of age unless for sinister motives,” he said.

“There are some congregants who are trying to divide the church along tribal lines. They are saying they cannot be led by a Ndebele and are busy mobilising others to divide or destroy the church.

“The church has grown so big that some members are now causing these problems so that they can take control and dip their hands into the church finances.

“They are after money. Our family has never taken a cent from the church.

“We (family) gave up everything we had and donated to the church; everything is documented; the books are available for inspection and those that accuse us of stealing can check with the finance department,” Joseph said.

According to some church members, Tshuma was not supposed to be the overseer after the death of church leader Philemon Sibanda in 2008.

Church members alleged that Tshuma was illegally appointed in violation of the church’s constitution. Joseph, however, said his father never wanted to be the church’s overseer, but was anointed by the late Sibanda.

“There is documented evidence and DVDs on how my father became the overseer of the church,” Joseph said.

“He was chosen by Sibanda to take over before he died. He was refusing to take over and had to be persuaded by the local, South African and Botswana church boards.”

11 COMMENTS

  1. Joseph Tshuma is not telling the truth. He is not a church member and why should he comment on behalf of the church. This not an issue about tribalism but his father Tony Tshuma changed the church constitution without the knowledge of the church congegants. The meeting to change church name took place in South africa and we have the pictures. Joseph Tshuma is interfering who is he to comment on church issue. Tony Tshuma is expelling church congregants who want the truth. He is lying the church was constructed through contributions from church members not from his father.

  2. Is forging the signatures of board members tribalism,is changing the church name without consulting church congregants tribalism,is threatening people with death tribalism,is expelling people who oppose Tony Tshuma tribalism,why did he tear the document with the successor name tribalism why did he open the bag in the absence of other board members. Tony Tshuma is the one who is tribalistic becoz he said a shona can not lead the church. Tony Tshuma know the successor.

  3. Joseph Tshuma should not comment he is not church member. Is changing constitution without following proper procedures tribalism,Is forging signatures of board members tribalism,

  4. joseph is a liar.we don’t know him, who is he to interfere in our church? he is not a member of the church. his father TONY TSHUMA had not been appointed by the late rev SIBANDA but he was a pastor in charge at the headquaters and a meeting was held by only four board members including himself and he was selected. SIBANDA appointed CLEMENT NYATHI and anointed him and TSHUMA knows that also. TShuma didn’t contribute to the construction of the church, it was built by all churh members in all branches including those outside ZIMBABWE. He has tribalism as well as NDLALIFA NCUBE his supporter. They used to say tribalistic things in the churh. TSHUMA claims to be the one who talk to GOD only and threatens others saying if you go against me the holy one GOD will punish you or even kill you.

  5. Vhangeri rakamutsirwa Rev J M Sengwayo haringamboiti Number 1 rikabatwa nenzira iyi. Kuramba kuri kuitwa Constitution kwakonzera kuti nevakuru vataure manyepo kusangano. Clement Nyathi ndiye apinzwa pamberi mberi nyamba nyaya yose haisi ikoko. Vari kutaura zvekunyepa vakamira paPulpit paiparidzwa naOverseer Sibanda. Ndlalifa anofanira kudzidziswa: zhowe zhowe yaari kuita mutemberi haina kufanira mumba inoremekedzwa yaMwari. Haisi Political Rally uye hausi kuCampainer.

  6. Ho Nyathi ndiye mutungamiri akasarudzwa nhai? Saka hazvishamisi nhai. Vatsva heyi nyaya. Tenga zvokwadi urege kuzoitengesazve. Iro zita idzva rekuti Apostolic Mission of Africa International rakabva kupi? Rakaziviswa ani? Board inoriziva here zita iri? Hazvisizvo zviri kudhonzerwa vafundisi kunosaina kucourt here izvi. Kathi motive yekuchinja zita iri kubva kupi? Munhu waMwari musi wa 27 Dec 2007 vakazvitaura here izvi zvava kuitwa? Sangano chenjera!

  7. Rev Sibanda vakataura musi wa 27 Dec 2007 pavaioneka sangano vakati Tembere ne Adminstration zvakavakwa pasina chikwereti. Vakati Muzinda ndiwo Mubyo vakati musanyengerwa saka vazvarwa vari kunyengerwa na Tony Tshuma ne vatsigiri vake Apostolic Faith Mission of Africa International yakabva kupi. Sangano rinoziva here kuti church yakachinjwa zita. Why changing church name. Pane Photo ne video ya Tony Tshuma,Rosewell Zulu,Pastor Mthombeni of SA pavaitaura na Onias Gumbo Ku SA ndipo pakachinjwa zita. Vakaudza ani. Church haisi ya Tony Tshuma iyi. Tony ava kuzviona samwari anozvikudza zvanzi anondipikisa anofa. Kuurawa nani. Instilling fear into people like Gumbura. Ko zvakanzi bag rinovhurwa vafundisi ve board vose vavapo sei Tony Tshuma Wakavhura woga. Wakabvarura tsamba yaitaura kuti Clement Nyathi ndiye overseer ukati mushona uye mwana mudiki. Rosewell Zulu akati ndai maiisa mushona mationa. Budai muende kuApostolic Faith Mission of Africa International Kwenyu. why forging signatures of Rev Matongo and Rev Morris. Wava Kuzviita Executive President we church zvakabva kupi. Unoda mhombwe dzako ka Rosewell Zulu na Elecon Ncube,na Leonard Moyo. God is watching you. Maphotos a Rosewell Zulu na Elecon Ncube vane magirlfriends tava kuzoabudisa plus photo yenyu muna Onias Gumbo.

  8. Those that appointed Father Tshuma in 2008 should come open and tell us that ,they have prayed again and received an answer that they where wrong in appointing The present Overseer.
    Please be careful with this issue because some may loose their permanent Heaven seat.

    Father Sibanda taught us to have a goal in the gospel ,please know were you are going .Not to be partzen to someone but Christ Jesus who died for a cause.

    The Lord is watching.

    Lord Jesus Christ come ,come lord!

  9. im not a member of Afm…but i grew up there ….Back then when Jesus was crucified 3 people testified against him and all those allegations were lies…Overseer Tshuma was Chosen by God…. he didn’t choose himself ..them those who are saying all those things have their motives…why are those allegations coming out now…

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