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Botswana ZCC rejects Moria

ZCC worshipers' song and dance moment
Some members of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) in Botswana are at odds with the church leaders including Bishop Barnabas Lekganyane for what they call violation of the church constitution and victimisation of members.

The 17 members, led by Tshiamo Tladi, mostly from the Tlokweng branch yesterday appeared before Justice Godfrey Nthomiwa of Lobatse High Court on urgency to interdict disciplinary proceedings that were instituted against them. Misconduct was among the charges.

The members, who are part of the praise and worship team ‘Mokhukhu’, are faced with disciplinary hearing that was to take place tomorrow (Saturday) at the church’s head office in Moria, South Africa, following numerous complaints they made, as well as instituting legal proceedings against their leaders.

The applicant’s attorney, Uyapo Ndadi, agreed with the church and Bishop Lekganyane’s attorney, Daniel Swabi, to stay the disciplinary proceedings until the ruling on the urgent application for interdiction.

Ndadi was adamant that the matter was urgent as the applicants faced uncertainty about their future in the church as they face suspension or even expulsion.

“Members have not been happy with the running of the church for a very long time and having sought other means, their grievances have never been addressed, and now they face disciplinary hearing that might lead to suspensions and expulsion from the church they have known their whole life,” he said. He argued that their efforts to address the issues bore no fruit from both the church leaders in Botswana and in South Africa. 

He said the stumbling block is that the church has no overseer in Botswana.

Moreover, Ndadi said the disciplinary proceedings should not have been instituted, adding that the church leaders should have waited for the conclusion of the court case pending before the Gaborone High Court.

“The case before Justice Michael Mothobi should be dealt with first and we could not seek the interdict from him because the case before

him has 11 applicants, while the case here today has 17 applicants,” he said.

From the other side of the table, Swabi said there was nothing urgent about the matter as the applicants had known about the hearing but did nothing.

He argued that the applicants slept on their rights and decided to file an urgent application at the last minute when the hearing was near. “

Again the elders have not wanted things to come this far, as they had wanted to suspend the hearing but negotiations and settlement collapsed,” he explained.

The ruling on urgency of the case was reserved to a later date. Meanwhile, out of the 17 applicants, 11 already have a pending case challenging the leaders for violating the church’s governing constitution.

In their filing notice of September 23, 2015, they challenge among other things why the church has never appointed a minister since the constitution was passed in 2009; why annual general meetings never take place and unconstitutional appointment of executive members.

The applicants argued that Bishop Lekganyane had failed since 2009 to appoint a minister to run and head the church in Botswana causing the local structure to be in a state of crisis and uncertainty as no one was accountable to lead. The applicants further said as a result the church was run from outside.

The applicants argued that in the absence of an AGM, the church lacks accountability and transparency which was not good for governance purposes. 

“We deserve and are entitled to know about the affairs of the church; we are entitled to know how the church money is used and accounted for and we want to hold church leadership accountable,” they argued.




And the gladiator found his beloved city in ruins

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