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Looming elective congress divides RCZ? 

Dear Editor

The recent allegations of financial misconduct within the RCZ leadership have sparked concerns over corporate governance within the organization.

 As indicated by the audit report and media coverage, potential financial mismanagement has led to clashes between congregants and church leaders, emphasizing the need for an objective examination of these events.

 In doing so, it is also important to consider the broader context of financial controls, inclusive decision-making processes, and a culture of openness within religious institutions.

In Zimbabwe, the Public Accountancy and Auditors Board Act outlines two types of audits: internal and external. Internal audits may result in ordinary or investigative reports, while external audits produce normal external audit reports or specialized reports, such as forensic audits or fraud examinations.

 From 2018 to 2022, both the standard internal and external audits were conducted.

At the 2022 elective synod congress held at Chibi High School, a resolution was passed to perform a forensic audit in response to the internal audit report presented by Mr. Mupasiri, the audit chairperson of RCZ.

 The RCZ church holds elective congresses every two years, and the report circulating on social media was released just two months before the elective congress.

The current Moderator, Reverend Pandasvika, has reportedly stepped back from the investigation of the matter, leaving the proceedings of the elective congress uncertain.

 According to the RCZ constitution, if the 2018-2022 Moderator is to be excused from this issue, all members of the 2018-2022 synodical committee must also recuse themselves from handling the matter.

During the 2018-2022 period, the reporting currency in Zimbabwe was the Zimbabwean dollar (ZWL). However, the audit report circulating on social media is denominated in US dollars (USD).

 In February 2019, the Government of Zimbabwe enacted Statutory Instrument Number 33 of 2019, which de-dollarized the economy, establishing the Zimbabwean dollar as the sole currency. The forensic report’s lack of alignment with the legal framework for the audited period raises questions about its validity.

The report highlights weak corporate governance within the church, which is being used to influence the outcome of the August 2024 elective congress.

 Historically, the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe has kept its internal matters private, except when resolved through litigation. The rapid spread of this issue on social media suggests that there may be more organizational politics at play.

The RCZ church leadership’s financial misconduct allegations have unveiled a multifaceted issue involving the Zimbabwean legal framework, financial transparency, and organizational politics.

 The call for a forensic audit is a step towards addressing concerns over financial management within the church. However, questions remain about the recusal of key figures from the investigation and the potential impact on the upcoming elective congress.

As the situation develops, it is crucial for the RCZ church to uphold principles of good governance, transparency, and accountability. Doing so will not only foster trust among congregants but also contribute to the overall integrity of religious institutions in Zimbabwe.

 Despite the challenges posed by these allegations, it is noteworthy that the existing board has played a vital role in preserving the unity of the church during this turbulent period.

 Their efforts have been instrumental in maintaining stability and cohesion among congregants, ensuring the spiritual well-being of the community remains a top priority.

RCZ being a missionary church they were people who wanted to incorporate   Pentecostalism which led to divisions and conflicts

As the situation develops, it is crucial for the RCZ church to uphold principles of good governance, transparency, and accountability. Doing so will not only foster trust among congregants but also contribute to the overall integrity of religious institutions in Zimbabwe.

Yours concerned reformer

Ndofandataura

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