The Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) has exonerated El-bethel Tabernacle Ministries Church after allegations of sexual abuse, engineering forced marriages and equipping junior pastors with martial arts skills to deal with perceived wayward congregants were levelled against the Church.

El-bethel, located in Chitungwiza is on record denying the allegations saying they were coming from disgruntled ex-communicated members.

Following the allegations, ACCZ president Archbishop Johannes Ndanga, organised a probe team that was tasked with investigating the authenticity of the claims.

The probe team was led by Bishop Joseph Pagan’a.

Presenting the findings of the probe team on Wednesday, Pagan’a said: “At the time of the visit by the ACCZ, there were no victims of sexual abuse and there were no reports of issues to that effect. Those interviewed said there was nothing of that sort.

“El Bethel believes in polygamy but does not engage in forced marriages. ACCZ established that Doctor Munawa (leader of the Church) trains karate as an individual and is training at Raylton Sports club.”

Ndanga said that the issue could have been a result of some people within the church trying to settle vendettas.

“We have reasons to believe that it is a mischievous and deliberate attempt to soil the names of God fearing people who are preaching their conviction as per their constitutional rights to freedom of religion and conscience.

“ACCZ has gone as far as visiting El Bethel Church premises and no sign of a gymnasium was found for the alleged training of martial arts,” said Ndanga.