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“I have not seen any bishop approaching me with any complaint. My office is open to anyone with complaints”.

CHRISTIAN Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) president, Johannes Ndanga, has come under fire from some of the churches under his leadership that have since passed a vote of no confidence in him.

Documents in possession of the Financial Gazette indicate that bishops who lead churches under ACCZ are unhappy with Ndanga’s continued leadership and have since written a letter to President Robert Mugabe seeking his urgent intervention to remove him from office.

The Financial Gazette is in possession of a copy of the said letter.

Having initially met on February 23 this year and passed a vote of no confidence in him in absentia, the bishops then drafted a letter which sources said has since been sent to President Mugabe.

It could not be established whether the letter had reached President Mugabe’s office because presidential spokesperson, George Charamba, was not immediately available for comment at the time of going to press.

Several meetings have been held since February with the aim of toppling Ndanga on several allegations that include misappropriation of funds, authoritarian leadership and corruption.

Disgruntled ACCZ members want Ndanga replaced by his deputy Erizari Jaramba. Those baying for his blood now consider Jaramba as the acting ACCZ president, pending elections to be conducted in three months’ time.

“We want (President) vaMugabe to give us a new patron who shall help the organisation realise its purpose in view of past setbacks within our member churches,” reads part of the letter which further sensationally accuses Ndanga of being corrupt and abusing the organisation’s vehicles and finances.

“The executive committee has been made redundant by Ndanga. ACCZ has no immovable properties or vehicles. There is no trace of all the vehicles that were purchased using ACCZ resources. Our internal auditors were kicked out when they tried to do their work,” reads the letter.

The hard-hitting letter further says Ndanga collected money from a number of church members promising that he would facilitate the acquisition of residential stands for them through a housing corporative known as the ACCZ Housing Development Trust, but nothing has materialised yet.

An inquiry by this paper also established that some churches, among them Mugodhi Apostolic Church, Vimbiso yaJehovha Apostolic Church, Zion Christian Church (ZCC) and Bethsaida Apostolic Church had sent representatives to try and recover about US$400 000 which was lost through the botched housing scheme to no avail.

The ACCZ bishops indicated that ACCZ members have continued to pay monthly subscriptions that are not reaching their intended destination and whoever in the executive committee dared to question his unprofessional conduct was labelled an enemy to the extent that by the end of 2011, most of the people had been forced to leave office, leaving himself (Ndanga) with the (ACCZ) chairman and registrar (names supplied) to run the office.

The bishops also claim that in 2012, government handed over 200 residential stands located in Masvingo, Chiredzi, Beitbridge and Mutare at US$600 each, payable over five years, but Ndanga allegedly diverted them to his own personal use and sold them to civil servants at an inflated price.

Ndanga, however, denied all the litany of charges in an interview with the Financial Gazette saying they were being raised by power hungry individuals who wanted to wrest the ACCZ presidency from him.

He pointed an accusing finger at Jaramba, whom he said was mobilising bishops to revolt against him and tarnish his image.

Ndanga said Jaramba wanted to wrest the ACCZ presidency soon after a gold smelting plant they were putting up in Kadoma starts operating.

“I have not seen any bishop approaching me with any complaint. My office is open to anyone with complaints. I have not blocked anyone. I know that Jaramba is the one who is plotting against me. He plans to topple me because he sees we are about to finish the gold smelting plant in Kadoma,” said Ndanga, who denied ever abusing the organisation’s funds saying the allegation was only meant to tarnish his image.

He, however, confirmed that ACCZ accounts have not been audited since its (ACCZ) inception in 2009.

“No one has ever said they wanted to audit our books. It is a lie that someone wanted to audit them.”

Jaramba meanwhile shot back at Ndanga dismissing his claims as nonsense.

“I did not want to engage myself in a tug of war with him (Ndanga). I am actually the one who facilitated his rise to presidency which I could not take since I am formerly employed somewhere. I am not a fool to build something and destroy it afterwards,” he said, denying, in the same breath, any knowledge of the gold milling plant Ndanga mentioned.

“I am the vice president and I don’t know anything about any gold milling plant. You can only fight for something you know. I actually am out of touch with what is currently happening at ACCZ,” he said and also confirmed that he unsuccessfully tried to initiate an audit of ACCZ funds.

“It is true that ACCZ books have not been audited. I have never received any financial statements to know the state of affairs there. I last stepped my foot at their offices three years ago and I haven’t seen Ndanga in two years,” he said.

Further investigations carried out by the Financial Gazette over the past month revealed that problems have been rocking ACCZ since 2012 when Ndanga, a former chaplain with the Air Force of Zimbabwe, allegedly unilaterally changed the organisation’s constitution to accord himself exclusive authority over all its operations, including finances, workers welfare, properties and investments. Sources said he has since declared himself life president.

ACCZ was formed in 2009 by indigenous Zimbabwean churches. The bulk of them are apostolic and Zionist sects. ACCZ was mandated to be the regulatory authority as well as the voice of the churches. Its membership has now grown to over 800 churches that pay subscriptions for the day to day activities of ACCZ.

The original ACCZ constitution, which gave birth to a national executive committee with the mandate to run its affairs, has since been amended to give Ndanga all the powers at the expense of the committee, it has been claimed.

In doing so, sources alleged Ndanga ran rings around the Apostolic Bishops Council which is the overall policy organ.

Source : Financial Gazette

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