The Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe (AFM) has officially split after the faction led by Reverend Cossam Chiangwa refused to accept a court ruling on the church leadership crisis case and renamed their group AFM of Zimbabwe.
The church’s leadership wrangle had lingered for years following an attempt by another faction led by immediate former president Reverend Aspher Madziyire and his successor Reverend Amon Madawo to amend the Constitution.
Chiangwa’s side rejected the amendments resulting in squabbles that saw some physically fighting in church premises.
Chiangwa’s side appealed the judgment at the Supreme Court which upheld the High Court ruling much to the chagrin of the former AFM vice president.
Among other things, the Supreme Court ordered the Chiangwa-led group to surrender all church assets.
In response to the ruling, Chiangwa, through his secretary-general Nathan Nhira, showed defiance but hinted about forming a new organisation. He said:
Do not panic, as usual, your leadership is in full control, do not move out of church buildings, nor surrender any assets prematurely.
It is however prudent and encouraged that those in church buildings and mission house should urgently start looking for alternative places of worship and accommodation.
We are not abandoning the ship, stay put, we moving on, do not be shaken, we on the move, united we stand as we gladly move forward.
We are re-constituting ourselves. We still part of AFM International and hence we can still use the logo again until AFM International excludes us from its affiliate membership, then we will design an appropriate logo and move on to establish our own International forum.
AFM of Zimbabwe logo is slightly different from that of AFM in Zimbabwe.
Observable differences include the direction of the cross, background colour and the replacement of “in” with “of” in the name. Some argue that this might have legal consequences.