EVANGELICAL Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) president, Bishop Trevor Manhanga, failed to secure re-election at the organisation’s annual general meeting held in Gweru last Tuesday, the Zimbabwe Independent has gathered.
>Tempers flared among members when it emerged that Manhanga did not have the two nominations stipulated by the EFZ constitution to allow him to seek re-election.
EFZ pastors at the meeting blocked the elections from going ahead after pastors aligned to Manhanga allegedly tried to manipulate the constitution.
Sources who attended the meeting said the Manhanga camp was not aware of the constitutional requirements until the issue was raised by members at the AGM shortly before the elections. After a deadlock on the matter, the majority of EFZ pastors blocked the elections from taking place, arguing that they could not violate the organisation’s constitution to accommodate one person.
Contacted for comment, Manhanga refuted claims that he was hanging onto power, saying there were irregularities in the manner in which the nominations were done and said the decision to defer elections was arrived at by the whole AGM council.
“It is not true that I refused to step down,” said Manhanga. “There were irregularities in the manner nominations were done because even when it was announced that I had one nomination another church queried this as it had put a nomination for me but the nomination was not there,” Manhanga said.
He added: “I serve at the pleasure of the members. I had said last year I would not seek re-election but members approached me and persuaded me to stand,” Manhanga said
EFZ secretary-general, Rev Andrew Muchechetere, put the issue to a vote and members voted 74 to six in favour of having the elections postponed to April next year.
Contacted for comment, Muchechetere confirmed that elections did not take place as planned due to constitutional irregularities.
“The issue was a simple constitutional matter,” said Muchechetere. “The EFZ constitution was not followed through and through in the running of the elections and in the end the whole thing got personalised. But the issue was not a Manhanga issue as people are now claiming.”
“When provincial committees were elected, there were constitutional deferments but some people turned around and insisted on sticking to the constitution when other elections were held under the flawed process.” — Staff Writer.