A group of people claiming to be members of the Pentecostal Church of Rwanda or ADEPR have written to President Paul Kagame and the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) demanding dissolution of the current church leadership.
The group has written 3 letters since May, in which they raise three grounds for which they want the leaders out.
The current leadership elected in March 2018 is composed of Rev. Karuranga Ephrem, head; Rev. Karangwa John, deputy; secretary general Pastor Gatemberezi Muzungu Paul, Umuhoza Aurélie, finance; and secretary Pastor Ntaganda Jean Paul.
ADEPR has been embroiled in internal squabbling since late 2016 over alleged fraud and genocide ideology. Its leaders at the time were arrested and their court cases have yet to be disposed of in which they are accused of embezzling over Rwf 3.3billion.
The new leadership of Rev Karuranga has not got any respite since coming to office. Independent observers say the former leaders could be behind the renewed chaos in the church in attempt to discredit the current team.
It is also said the old team being prosecuted may be looking for a way to force for a negotiated settlement so that the prosecution is halted.
The petitioners demanding for resignation of current ADEPR leadership say the team is taking decisions without consultations. They also claim that ADEPR pastors who were recently deported from Uganda were immediately given positions in the church ignoring those already in the hierarchy.
The petitioners also accuse Rev Karuranga with his team of terrorising ADEPR members who raise their voices, instead of using a consultative mechanism.
The group also claims deputy ADEPR leader Rev Karangwa John doesn’t have the qualifications to be in that position, which puts him at the top of a church considered one of the most powerful after the Catholic Church. As a result, Karangwa was arrested last week by RIB and is facing prosecution for using forged documents.
In response to the letters seeking their resignation, leader and spokesperson Rev Karuranga said the petitioners are not members of ADEPR. He has declined to comment further.
The latest infighting comes as an audit in ongoing ordered by the Court of Appeal into the Church’s finances to understand how the Rwf 3.3billion disappeared. The court will base on the audit to make its decision about the culpability of the former leaders.
Read related content below for more details about the controversies that have rocked ADEPR for years.