Impasse in Dar es Salaam

 

Impasse in Dar es Salaam

Author: 

George Conger

The Primate of Tanzania’s call for the Bishop of Dar es Salaam to step down has been rejected by the diocese’s standing committee.

On 6 Jan 2017 the Most Rev. Jacob Chimeledya, Archbishop of Tanzania met with the standing committee of the Diocese of Dar es Salaam to discuss the findings of a provincial investigation into the conduct of their bishop, the Rt. Rev. Valentino Mokiwa (pictured). The report prepared last May found Bishop Mokiwa had leased to commercial developers over three dozen diocesan properties without the consent of the diocesan standing committee or synod. The report accused Bishop Mokiwa, the former primate and archbishop of Tanzania, with pocketing the $2.7 million in proceeds.

On 21 Nov 2016 the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Tanzania gave Bishop Mokiwa an ultimatum: resign by year’s end or be deposed from office. Bishop Mokiwa declined to respond, prompting this week’s meeting between the primate and the diocesan standing committee.

The bishop’s supporters have dismissed the allegations of corruption, arguing the charges were based on tribal and political jealousies. Supporters of Bishop Mokiwa have pushed back against the bishop’s opponents -- primarily found in the Evangelical wing of the church -- (Bishop Mokiwa is an Angl0-Catholic) -- and have called for the resignation of the provincial secretary. The church’s third power block, the faction comprised of bishops drawn from the Wagogo tribe in Central Tanganyika had supported Bishop Mokiwa after the May report was first presented to the House of Bishops in June. However, they moved against him in the November meeting and backed his call to resign.

A source familiar with the situation in Tanzania tells Anglican Ink, the situation is now one of  ecclesiastical “chaos”.

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