ZVISHAVANE - The Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ), Zvishavane has sent a stern warning to the Church's national leadership that it risks dire consequences if it blocks the appointment of Reverend Innocent Munenerwa as the new priest at Pamushana.
Reverand Munenerwa was called by church members at Pamushana to become the new pastor as per the Church's tradition of calling. Sources told The Mirror that he accepted the call and is supposed to move from Zvishavane where he is currently based to join Pamushana in August.
However, as this unfolded, the RCZ Synod, the highest decision making body in the Church moved in to suspend Munenerwa from the church on two allegations including that he was casting out demons from people against the Church practice.
The Synod also threatened to suspend the Zvishavane Dare which is the biggest decision making body at parish level and the reason being that they allowed their priest to cast demons.
RCZ Synod General Secretary Rev Juro refused to comment on the matter saying he was attending a funeral while Moderator (National leader) Reverend Doctor Rangarirai Rutoro's mobile was not reachable.
However, Zvishavane congregants who believe that their pastor deserves the honour of serving Pamushana which is a bigger parish accused the Synod of running the church like an "animal farm". They warned of a looming split in the Church if the Synod fulfills its desire to suspend Munenerwa and block him from moving to Pamushana. They also threatened to stop paying tithe to the church if Munenerwa does not move to Pamushana by August.
A 10-member delegation from Zvishavane delivered a petition to Juro on Wednesday and demanded a response within a month. If the response is not delivered the first step is that there would be no tithe.
There are also allegations that the complaints against Munenerwa are coming from just one congregant at the church, a woman described as jealous.
"How can a whole Synod act on the advice of one ordinary member and ignore the whole congregation which is disputing these allegations? Everyone else at Zvishavane has accepted and agreed that Munenerwa deserves the honour to go to a bigger parish.
"All social media platforms of the church are currently seized with this matter and there is unanimous resistance to the Synod's planned action," said a senior church member who declined to be named.
Munenerwa is regarded as one of the church's most successful pastors having cleared a loan for the purchase of a church truck, acquired stands for more churches to be built in Mberengwa and Zvishavane, renovated the town assembly among other developments.
"If there is any truth regarding the suspension of Rev Munenerwa, we the congregants of Zvishavane strongly advise you to reverse such a decision or prepare to face radical action to the extent of pursuance of this issue in the highest courts of our land," read part of the petition.news