Zimbabwe: Chaos Rocks Roman Catholic Over Vicar General Post

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POWER struggles have erupted in the Roman Catholic Church in Masvingo after a controversial change of the Vicar General recently.

The former Vicar General, Walter Nyatsanza, who had occupied the post for several years, was recently relieved of his duties under controversial circumstances.

Father Samson Mutsvanga, who is believed to be Bishop Michael Bhasera’s blue-eyed boy, has since been appointed to take over from Nyatsanza, who has been reportedly transferred to Bangala.

However, a storm is brewing as Nyatsanza and some of his sympathisers are allegedly challenging his demotion.

It is alleged that Nyatsanza’s camp is ready to take up the matter with superiors in a bid to have the decision reversed.

Sources say Nyatsanza could have irked Bhasera during a Mass prayer at Silveira High School, where he reportedly said “new blood” in leadership roles is Zimbabwe’s only hope, a statement which is believed to be politically motivated.

“Our generation of leadership has failed. You should hold no more hope in us.

We are here to wait to die and be buried. Our hope is in young leadership, which will do things differently from us,” Nyatsanza said during the mass prayer at Silveira High.

Sources further allege that Nyatsanza’s demotion could have been propelled by some political heavyweights, who may have directed the church’s leadership to demote him for meddling in politics.

It is also believed that the statement was also aiming at Bhasera and other old Roman Catholic leaders in the Diocese, who are still holding on to top positions.

In a letter dated May 30, Bhasera said “Rev. Fr. Samson Mutsvanga has been appointed Vicar General of Masvingo Diocese.

Rev. Fr. Walter Nyatsanza has been appointed Priest in Charge of St. Barbra Bangala Mission.”

Nyatsanza could not be drawn to comment as he continuously terminated calls made to his mobile.

However, Bishop Bhasera said Nyatsanza’s term was over and that the move was routine.

“The Vicar General is appointed for a specific time, so Nyatsanza had served his time. A Vicar General can serve a five year term, which is subject to renewal, so it can be up to 10 years and so forth,” Bhasera said.

The new changes are effective Friday, June 3 as stated in Bhasera’s letter.

Mutsvanga previously served as the Masvingo Diocese Education Secretary and was also priest at Matibi Mission.

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