ONGWEDIVA – Outgoing Evangelical Lutheran Church of Namibia (Elcin) western diocese bishop Veikko Munyika has reiterated the church was deeply divided, citing the recently held synod as one of the examples.
“There is a lot of infighting in the church. One example of disunity is the recent synod. We could not elect a bishop for the western diocese because we are not united. The examples are many,” Munyika told New Era this week.
Munyika also defended his sermon delivered during last weekend’s memorial service in honour of late Elcin bishop-elect for the eastern diocese Martin Ngodji in which he questioned the sustainability of the church and those leading it. He also equated the church to a dead child.
Some clergymen accused Munyika of tarnishing the image of the church. However, he maintained in an interview with New Era that there is no unity in the church.
He highlighted the recent synod held in August to elect a bishop for both the eastern and western diocese as one of the many examples depicting the disunity in the church.
He said the failure to obtain a two-third majority to elect a bishop for the western diocese is just the tip of the iceberg. The synod only succeeded in electing a bishop for the eastern diocese. At the Ongwediva gathering, the late Ngodji prevailed as bishop-elect for the eastern diocese, while there was no clear winner for the western diocese. Instead, Gideon Niitenge was chosen as the diocesan moderator. Munyika also maintained what he expressed during Ngodji’s memorial service was his own thoughts about his perceived status quo of the church.
He said the figurative expression he used that the late bishop-elect was going to carry and nurse a dead child, in his context, meant that Ngodji was going to lead a divided team.
Munyika said there was nothing tribal about his remarks. On allegations there were some clergymen defending his remarks because they are of the same tribe, Munyika said the claims are a non-starter. “If there are people allegedly defending me, then that is on them,” he said.