THE United Pentecostal Church in Zimbabwe is embroiled in a nasty fight that has spilled into the Harare Magistrates’ Courts.
A group of disgruntled pastors recently approached the courts seeking to expel their national superintendent, Reverend Clifford Makandise, for alleged corruption and abuse of office.
The pastors are also lobbying for the dismantling of the national executive board, which they claim is working in cahoots with the superintendent.
In a statement presented to the church’s national assembly, the disgruntled pastors and ministers said they were concerned with the levels of corruption allegedly being perpetrated by their national superintendent and executive board.
“The purpose of the United Pentecostal Church is to spread the gospel to the world meaning preaching biblical dictates to the world. It is for this reason that pastors and ministers of The United Pentecostal Church have noticed with concern the abuse of office and corruption being spearheaded by the national superintendent and his cabal. This is against the church’s founding principles of spreading the word,” read part of the statement.
The statement noted that the superintendent and his faction had adopted the norm of dismissing anyone who differed with their thinking.
“This again is a violation of the church constitution which outlines that in any case a disciplinary hearing should be conducted before any expulsion or suspension.
“The superintendent is ordaining unqualified pastors; the reason is that he wants to create his own empire so as to continue dominating in the church at the detriment of other pastors and ministers.
“Areas that have been affected by his tendency include; Matabeleland, Mashonaland and Midlands region the church is highly divided there. The superintendent has a history of dictatorial tendencies and often times his endeavours are to push personal interest at the expense of the church.
“Recently he tried to sell our Kwekwe camping ground, fortunately the move was blocked by some pastors and for this reason the pastors are facing expulsion,” alleged the pastors.
In an interview with The Sunday Mail Religion, one of the disgruntled pastors – who refused to be named – said on February 23, 2017 a meeting was convened in Kadoma and pastors resolved that Rev Makandise should resign.
“That was a unanimous decision that came from the youth, ministers and other church members. We also want all those expelled pastors to be reinstated and investigations be made which will lead to a hearing then judgment.
“We recommend that an audit be carried and the results be presented to the general assembly who will then decide on what action should be taken according to the church constitution,” said the pastor.
“We further recommend that the involvement of foreigners in our church administration be stopped and let United Pentecostal Church in Zimbabwe be autonomous reporting only to the field supervisor of Southern Africa.”
However, Rev Makandise said the pastors were pursuing divisive agendas, pointing out that the complainants had been disciplined for violating church rules and regulations and were out for revenge.
“I know who gave you this information. These guys are just trying to destroy the church and they are doing this because they are bitter that they were disciplined for violating several church rules.
“Everything they are telling you are lies, they are trying to advance their agendas that is all,” said Rev Makandise.
Rev Makandise said he was carrying out his duties with due diligence and would not be pushed out by divisive elements.