THE Seventh Day Adventist Church (SDA), through its affiliate Solusi University, will this weekend confer a doctorate degree on Zanu PF national chairman and Speaker of Parliament, John Nkomo, wh
o is mediating in a feud in the church.
A faction in the church however sees the conferment of the honorary degree as a reward to Nkomo for his alleged blocking of investigations into corruption cases in the church.
Nkomo will be conferred with the honorary doctorate during Solusi University’s graduation ceremony on Sunday. Nkomo yesterday confirmed that he would be conferred with the doctorate on Sunday.
“It is true that I will receive the doctorate on Sunday at Solusi University,” said Nkomo. “There is nothing wrong with that because I am a member of the SDA church and have been a member for long.”
On allegations that he was being rewarded for his role in blocking corruption allegations at the church, Nkomo said he was not aware of the divisions despite an earlier admission that he was involved in attempts to solve divisions within the church.
According to documents in the possession of the Zimbabwe Independent the Solusi University senate committee held a meeting on June 14 and recommended that Nkomo, together with the executive secretary of the SDA church, Matthew Bediako, be conferred with doctorate degrees.
The two will be conferred with the doctorates for “commendably outstanding and significant contributions to the benefit of both the church and the states they represent”.
The conferment of the doctorate degree on Nkomo has however raised a concerns with a section of the church, accusing politicians of being used by church leaders to block corruption allegations.
“All along we have been raising the issue that Nkomo has been used by church leaders to block corruption allegations and it is now evident that they are rewarding him with a doctorate degree for the cover-up,” said Philemone
Khutshwekhaya, a senior church elder leading a faction opposed to SDA leader, Pastor Solomon Maphosa.
They accuse the church leadership of corruption in the sale of church vehicles, cronyism in the allocation of posts and serious financial mismanagement.
In an earlier interview, Nkomo said he was invited to intervene as a national leader.
Asked to comment on why he was roping in politicians to decide church matters, Pastor Maphosa said he could not since the matter involved senior people.