By Etiwel Mutero | The story claimed that Kudakwashe Tagwirei is using his financial muscle to divide the Seventh-day Adventist Church into two. The story went on to say that Tagwirei is sponsoring Church programs so as to have influence over a number of Pastors and Church elders within the SDA Church.
In addition to the above the author of the story alleged that Tagwirei was positioning his own people into influential positions in the church so that they support his agenda.
I would like to believe that the person who authored the Daily Mirror News article is a lazy researcher or he/she is just a mischievous author who was motivated to drag in the mud the name of Kudakwashe Tagwirei and that of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
First and foremost, Kudakwashe Tagwirei is not a member of a church called the SDA Church in Zimbabwe.There is no such kind of a church by that name and if it does I believe Kudakwashe Tagwirei is not a member of it.
This author joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church on the 25th of October 1990 and his church membership is held at Evimileni Seventh-day Adventist Church in Emakhandeni Surbub Bulawayo and he has authority to put the record straight.The rightful name of our Church is Seventh-day Adventist Church with no suffixes or prefixes like “in Zimbabwe” or “of Zimbabwe”.The Church adopted it’s name in 1863 in America at its first General Conference.So if the Daily Mirror story is saying Tagwirei has divided the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Zimbabwe then it’s another church which is foreign to most Adventists residing in Zimbabwe or abroad.
Secondly, the article says Kudakwashe Tagwirei is sponsoring various projects within the Church in order to win influential church members to his faction. In the Seventh-day Adventist Church, members cannot sponsor projects but church members pays tithes and offerings.It is these offerings which are used to develop particular projects within the church. Let me also explain further on this.Church offerings are paid to the Church Treasurer and the Church Treasurer allocates the offerings to different votes following the agreed Church budget and therefore no individual can individually claim ownership of a particular project as his/ hers or claim to have solely funded it.
Thirdly, the Daily Mirror news article claims that Tagwirei has divided the institution (the Seventh-day Adventist Church) into two. Let me explain briefly how the Seventh-day Adventist Church is organized. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a world-wide church with it’s world headquarters in America Washington DC and this Headquarters is called the General Conference which is being led by Pastor Ted Wilson as the ‘Pope’ or the World President of SDAs.Below the General Conference there are different world territories called the Divisions which are continental based or a grouping of a number of nearby countries and Zimbabwe falls under Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division which is based in South Africa.Below the Division we have what we call Union Conferences.A single country may have a single or a number of Union Conferences and Zimbabwe has three Union Conferences, that is, in Harare, Gweru and Bulawayo.Below the Union Conference there are Conferences and lastly we have a local Church below the conference.Now when the article say Tagwirei has divided the institution , the author of article was not clear whether Tagwirei has divided his own local Church where he attends Church services each Sabbath day or was the author referring to the Conference, Union Conference, the Division or the General Conference itself.
Individual members belong to a local church and each local Church like Harare City Centre Seventh-day Adventist Church have its own register of baptised members and each particular local church has only one local Church Pastor who oversees it.A local church Pastor is assisted by a single local Church Elder or a number of local Church elders who operates under a single local Head Elder.The local church elders are elected annually or biannually through a democratic fair and transparent process.We don’t cheat or rig elections within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
There are various forms of church governance such as episcopal, papal, independent and the representative form of church governance and the Seventh-day Adventist Church uses the representative form of church governance.With this form of governance authority rests with the church membership .No single individual can dictate to the whole congregation what needs to be done at a local church but decisions are collectively taken.
One then wonders how Tagwirei can divide Pastors if each local church has a single Pastor who oversees it. Let’s assume the author was referring to a Conference in Harare since a conference is a grouping of local churches within a particular territory, but then how can Tagwirei divides conference wide Pastors? What advantage or what mileage does Tagwirei benefit if he leads a particular faction within the Seventh-day Adventist Church? I believe the Daily Mirror newspaper just wrote a senseless, unfounded and outrageous story for reasons best known to the newspaper editor.
The story further claims that Tagwirei is positioning his own people in different Church positions. It is very impossible for a single individual to solely appoint people to different church positions because the church election process cannot be influenced by a single individual.The whole nomination process is Spirit led and that campaigning or lobbying for church positions is prohibited.
I know that Kudakwashe Tagwirei maybe viewed as a political figure and that he may have a number of enemies but what should remain clear is that Kudakwashe Tagwirei does not own the Seventh-day Adventist Church.Again journalist must not try to drag the Seventh-day Adventist Church to fight its own wars with the businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei.
If there is anybody in Zimbabwe with valid evidence which proves that Tagwirei committed adultery or committed fraud by siphoning public funds anywhere, please take that evidence to Kudakwashe Tagwirei’s local Church Pastor or local Church elder.Tagwirei’s Pastor will call for what is called the Church Board to investigate the allegations.If the allegations are proven to be true the Local Church Board will either suspend him from all Church activities or remove him from the Church membership roll.There are no sacred cows in the Seventh-day Adventist Church when it comes to Church discipline.
I thank you.
*Etiwel Mutero is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.He is an archivist and a political commentator.Contact him on +263773614293 or email [email protected]*