Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) has fired Pastor Samuel Usabyimana, the legal representative of Pentecostal Church of Rwanda (ADEPR), The Sunday Times has learnt.
On Friday this week, RGB leadership wrote a letter to ADPER members, requesting that they set up a new committee since Pastor Samuel Usabyimana lacks requirements to represent the church.
Saleh Habimana, head of political parties, NGOs and faith based organisations at RGB says Usabwimana is not recognised by the board as a representative of ADEPR.
“They (ADEPR) wrote a letter requesting us to help them elect a new committee as we have been dealing with their case for quite a long time. We found out that the existing representative was lacking requirements and we replied to their letter requesting them to have a new representative,” said Habimana in a telephone interview yesterday.
He revealed that Usabwimana is being investigated over a number of issues and is supposed to report to police to answer allegations against him.
His sacking follows a long standing infighting that had emerged among church leaders of DEPR that was threatening to split the church, according to some members. Two factions had developed each accusing the other of harbouring genocide ideology.
A fortnight ago, officials from the Ministry of Local Government, police and representatives of ADPER had planned to meet to help resolve the matter.
The Minister of Local Government, James Musoni, had two weeks ago confirmed to this newspaper that a meeting had been called to find a solution.
Church members accused Usabyimana of promoting the genocide ideology, lack of accountability, corruption, favoritism, illegally firing of pastors.
Usabwimana has repeatedly denied the allegations.
The Sunday Times could not reach him for a comment about the decision to fire him by press time.
“We are aware of the conflict within ADEPR and the ministry has requested the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NRUC) to intervene and solve the matter,” Musoni explained to this newspaper in a telephone interview.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, over the matter recently, NRUC President, Bishop John Rucyahana, said the commission had tried to solve the conflict in vain.
“We met ADEPR top leaders and those who were expelled from the church. We also wrote to them advising them to solve their internal conflicts,” said the Bishop.
“The commission gives advice to unify and reconcile people or groups in conflict, but when we fail, we report the case to other institutions, now the case is in local government,” added Rucyahana.
Some former pastors also accuse Usabwimana of using the church’s money without accountability and embezzlement. Auditors found that he had taken Rfw 3,000,000 and failed to justify it and instead called it “paid holidays”.