|Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe|
Evangelical Association of Zimbabwe is a Zimbabwean organisation consisting of various churches formed in 1962.
In 1962, a few Evangelical Church leaders came together to form what is now known as the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ). Over the years its membership has grown to over 562 member bodies comprising denominations, Church bodies, ministries and Para-Church organizations. The Fellowship represents over 4.5 million individual members.
The Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe has become a strong, growing and unifying platform for preaching the gospel, equipping church leaders and facilitating fellowship and joint ministry, meeting the needs of vulnerable communities and being a positive influence in nation building efforts. Local and International funding partners have played a significant role in assisting the EFZ fulfill its mandate of helping the community; and some of the partners included IOM, Mercy Corps, Christian Community Partnership Trust, Tearfund, Living Water International, World Vision, European Union, ISO23, Africare, among many others.
The Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting convenes annually and is the highest policy making body comprising Heads of Denominations (HoDs). It is responsible for transacting Annual General Meeting business which includes among other things consideration of reports, ratification of pertinent matters and deliberating on the vision and mission of the fellowship.
National Executive Committee
This is the organisation's governing council and its membership comprises the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary and Committee Members who are Chairpersons of Provincial Committees, the National Chairwoman and National Secretary of the Women’s Committee, and the General Secretary who is an ex-officio member. It is dedicated to advancing EFZ’s mission, values, strategies, policies and priorities.
The Provincial Committees are responsible for decentralized activities at the provincial level, including planning, facilitation, and coordination of programs. They formulate strategy for funding, administration and effective implementation of programs in their respective Districts/Zones and wards.
Executive Management Committee
This is a secretariat arm led by the General Secretary, comprising the Heads of Programs, Finance and Human Resources and Administration. It is responsible for day-to-day oversight of the secretariat.
Denouncing Contraceptive Ban
In 2014 the EFZ denounced the call of banning female contraceptives by Tobaiwa Mudede who argued that contraceptives had negative side effects on women and is a “ploy by powerful nations to retard Africa’s population growth”. The then president of the organisation Goodwill Shana said the number of children should tally with the economic performance of a country,
We are not totally convinced that unlimited control is the answer but we need to pay attention to population growth and we don’t think an unguarded throw away of condoms and contraceptives is the answer. An uncontrolled youth population can be a burden to the family and country in terms of resources and to say let’s have the children like in the Bible it is a bit unguarded. There should be a balance between growth and the welfare of the child.
Shana went on to say that the increased number of children without resources increases cases of abuse,
Many families that have huge numbers of children actually create conditions for vulnerability and abuse and poverty, so we have to take a middle of the road approach of population growth and contraception,” he said. “You cannot expect to have many children if the environment is not conducive and this is exacerbated in a violent climate as well as stagnant economic situation.
The president then condemned the distribution of contraceptives in schools saying it increases the rate of immorality,
The church is vehemently opposed to the distribution of condoms and contraceptives in schools. I think we need a health sector education which tells people how to take care of themselves and be in control. But to give contraception is actually perhaps to encourage immorality and promiscuity at an early age. We are still dealing with a child, they have rights but those rights must be managed so that they are exercised maturely.
Issuing Statement On National Crisis
EFZ together with a number of church organisations such as the Zimbabwe Council of Churches and the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference, among other influential organisations, released a press statement on the national crisis in Zimbabwe. In the statement the church leaders raised their concerns over the police and Government's disregard of the Constitution through selective application of the law, failure to deal with corruption decisively and the exclusion of citizens in determining their destiny. They also appealed to government to hear the cries of the ordinary citizen and they also condemned police brutality.
In the statement the church leaders also listed issues they wanted government to address, namely;
- High unemployment rate
- Need to account for the $15 billion diamond revenue that is reported missing by President Robert Mugabe
- Moves to impose Bond Notes despite clear resistance from the economic sector and citizens among other issues. You can read the statement below:
- About EFZ, Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, published: No Date Given, retrieved: June 30, 2016
- Nyemudzai Kakore, Evangelical Fellowship denounces contraceptives ban, Chronicle, published: July 17, 2014, retrieved: August 4, 2016