Succession battle splits Remera church

The late Pastor Jane Kanyange dedicated her life uniting members of her Prayer Palace Church in Remera, but soon after her death in September last year, the church has already started falling apart. The infighting, church members say, was caused by arguments on who should succeed Kanyange.

The late Pastor Jane Kanyange dedicated her life uniting members of her Prayer Palace Church in Remera, but soon after her death in September last year, the church has already started falling apart.

The infighting, church members say, was caused by arguments on who should succeed Kanyange.

Apparently, two factions have emerged with each group fronting its own candidate to succeed the late pastor.
A source from the church told The New Times on Thursday that one group is headed by Pastor Moses Muhumuza while the other is led by Gerald Mutiganda.

Mutiganda’s group claims that they are members of the founding body and must have a big say on who should replace Kanyange. They regard Muhumuza’s group as newcomers to the church.

Muhumuza’s faction was recently evicted from the church, but before the eviction, the group got hold of the church’s land title.

It has emerged that the group fronting Mutiganda has petitioned the police to force Muhumuza’s members to surrender the stamp and church signpost.

A police source confirmed that the matter had been taken to police headquarters in Kacyiru for redress.

“They were advised to settle the issue amicably,” the source said on Thursday. Former church administrator, Pascal Basabe was at first ordained Pastor of one faction.

He was reportedly backed by Bishop Charles Rwandamura, the leader of Forum of Born Again Churches and Mutiganda.

Rwandamura, head of the United Christian Church together with Pastor Fred Nyamurangwa, the leader of the Discipline Commission, are being accused of siding with Mutiganda’s group.

Rwandamura could not be reached for a comment by press time as his phone continuously went unanswered.

When contacted, Pastor Muhumuza said that his group was guided by the church’s constitution; “which states that in case the president of the church dies or resigns, the vice president of the ministry automatically takes over.”

Muhumuza explained that he was installed as a Pastor by the Executive Committee after consulting the constitution.

Asked whether he was to blame for the current infighting in the church, Mutiganda said:  “I am among the founders of Prayer Palace Church. I know the Gospel very well and I give my contribution because I want the ministry to grow.”

“If they want to solve the issue without respecting the forum, it means that they are not following the hierarchy”.

Alex Muyango, the president of the ministry said; “for us, we respect the Executive Committee and the constitution.”
He explained that originally the forum had no legal authority to dictate on how individual churches conduct their business.

“The forum has to come in as a mediator but not to impose orders upon us,” Muyango said.

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