MASVINGO - Over 100 Reformed Church of Zimbabwe placard wielding members from Zvishavane this week staged a demo against the Church leadership demanding that the mooted suspension of Rev Innocent Munenerwa be lifted forthwith or they will leave the church.
The congregants who were ferried from Zvishavane to Morgenster by bus staged the demo on Tuesday morning before handing over their petition to Church Moderator, Rev Doctor Rangarirai Rutoro.
At one stage the demo became so heated that Rev Rutoro had to run for dear life from offices and hide at his official residence.
The angry congregants also let the cat out of the bag on numerous Church secrets and vowed to wash more dirty linen in public.
The congregants are angry that the Synod wants to suspend Munenerwa who is their Parish Rev just after he has been invited by the Pamushana Parish to become the new Parish reverand. Parishioners from Zvishavane are happy for Munenerwa who they believe deserves the honour of moving to Pamushana which is a bigger Parish.
Zvishavane parishioners are accusing the Synod of trying to block Munenerwa from rising in the church. Munenerwa is supposed to replace Reverand Menard Zvenyika.
The demonstrators also accused the church leadership of persecuting honest and hard working reverands and protecting the adulterous and scandalous ones.
They produced a long list of pastors whose reports of adultery and thefts have not been dealt with by the church despite evidence and complaints from the public.
The petition said there were pastors who were sexually abusing little girls while others were caught in love affairs with married women.
"It is common knowledge that Reverend (name given) had an affair with another woman but was not even warned. The matter was swept under the carpet.
"Reverend (Kwekwe name supplied) had an affair with an MP's daughter. A letter was written by the MP Chamwadoro complaining about the affair. This affair was also swept under the carpet presumably because the Reverend is related to the Moderator (muzukuru waModerator)
"Zimuto reverend (name supplied) has a case of stolen meat. It is alleged that he was caught with stolen meat from Zimuto mission. The issue was simply brushed aside.
"Zimuto reverend was caught red handed in an affair which could have resulted in huge reputational damage to the church. Having been caught with another man's wife, he was barricaded in the room until he was made to pay cattle to the woman's husband for the infidelity (kuripiswa). The matter was in every media but nothing was done.
"The same Reverend pursued his first degree in Zambia however he was unable to complete the course because he was asked to leave on account of infidelity. Letters were received from the Zambian educational institution however no hearing or cautioning was conducted regarding the matter," read the petition
After running away from the church premises, Rutoro was forced out of his house after the demonstrators threatened to move in.
"Muchatuma venyu madeacon nevafundisi asi hameno vachanopindira papi uye vachipinza ani nekuti Zvishavane yaramba madhisinyongoro (One day you will need to send your deacons and reverends to Zvishavane but no one will entertain them because we will not tolerate lawlessness," said one demonstrator.
The demonstrators then handed over their petition to Rutoro who said he could not comment from his private residence.
"I cannot give any official comment because you (protestors) have come to my private residence but what I can say as Ranga is that you have done a great thing to air out your views although the way you have done it isn't the best way I expected because we are children of God. I will refer the matter to the executive who will deliberate over it," he said.