Unholy fight rocks Anglican Church

Unholy fight rocks Anglican Church

MASERU – AN uproar has erupted in the Anglican Church over an award given to MoAfrika FM by the Bishop.
The protests within the church have been instigated by some of the church’s priests who are unhappy with the Bishop of the Diocese of Lesotho, Mallane Taaso’s award to Moafrika FM.
These priests are demanding that Bishop Taaso steps down from his position.

Speaking on behalf of the disgruntled priests, Reverend Maieane Khaketla accused the Bishop of pushing a political agenda, saying he has ignored long standing calls to step down.
Rev Khaketla said he wrote a letter to Archbishop Thabo Makgoba in Cape Town as far back as 2015 complaining about Bishop Taaso’s involvement in politics.
“He was investigated. However, the report was not released as it was said it would humiliate the church,” he said.
The church has been involved in intermittent conflict that has at times ended in the courts.

And the differences have now resurfaced following the award Taaso gave to Moafrika FM.
Rev Khaketla said the award has triggered splits in the church, claiming that the move tainted the church.
Rev Khaketla said as priests, they do not have a problem with the church dishing out gifts but that such awards should be given internally and not to outsiders.
“That is not the correct procedure of giving out gifts as the church. We are stunned. What processes did the Bishop follow when choosing this radio station?” he asked.
“On what basis did he give MoAfrika FM the award?” Rev Khaketla asked.

Rev Khaketla said Bishop Taaso had exposed his political colours by giving the award to the radio station.
“If he likes politics, he should not involve our church in such things. We have many people who are concerned and who do not like MoAfrika FM because of its politics, so now our Bishop is giving it an award of excellence,” he said.

“He has to step down and let people who are willing to do God’s job do so,” he added.
Rev Khaketla accused Bishop Taaso of expelling from the church people he viewed as outspoken.
“I received a court order and a letter from the bishop ordering me not to get near any Anglican church in Lesotho. For me to go to church, I have to attend in South Africa,” he said.
Responding to the accusation, Bishop Taaso’s secretary Mathula Manyabeane said the priests’ allegations are without basis.
He said he was not aware of any split in the church.

Manyabeane said the priests had misunderstood the award given to MoAfrika FM.
He said the Bishop did not give the station a certificate of excellence, but a certificate for broadcasting Christian programmes.
“The station broadcasts the Word of God and this helps us as Christians and we were not focusing on the fact that it is a political radio station. Our focus was that it broadcasts the Word of God to the public,” he said.

Manyabeane further said the Bishop gave the award to the radio station following advice from the church committee.
“It is not the only company that received the award but there are more awards to be given by the church to companies,” said Manyabeane.
“As a way of celebrating 10 years of the Bishop still on duty, we have agreed that we are going to give out awards to the public who are also doing God’s work. It is our duty as the church to give out gifts to people who are not even members of the church as a way of showing appreciation,” he said.

Manyabeane said calls for Bishop Taaso to step down were misguided.
“We are guided by the law,” he said, adding: “All these things they are accusing the Bishop about are all lies and they are hiding something. They are pushing their agenda but soon the truth will come out,” he said.

Itumeleng Khoete

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