In the Botswana Gazette
“We, Communicants, Clergy, Church Wardens, Church Councillors, Synod
representatives and Parishioners hereby wish to express own displeasure and
disappointment with the manner in which the Right Reverend Bishop Mwamba has
been discharging his duties as the Bishop of the Diocese of Botswana. We
therefore declare our vote of no confidence in him,” read the petition.
It said whilst the Bishop has not been very visible in their rural parishes, he had
however embarked on extensive foreign travel. “The broader church is not aware
of the purpose and value derived from your globe-trotting escapades and we are
therefore concerned about the cost of these to the Church,” states the petition.
They also accuse the Bishop of taking a very vocal pro-homosexuality stance that
at times seems dangerously close to being contrary to the Lambeth Resolution on
this matter, despite not having taken the decision of the Church in Botswana
“Whilst it is evident that this matter has great potential to divide the Anglican Communion, you have not engaged the church in Botswana in any manner and there is not even a Pastoral Letter in which you would have brought the Church into your confidence regarding your position.”
The petitioners noted that the relationship between a bishop and Batswana clergy has never been as low as it is under Mwamba’s leadership.
There is a sense that an opposition to Mwamba has added grievance on grievance in an attempt to make a case.
On the matter of homosexuality, as I understand it, they are simply wrong. I believe Bishop Mwamba has consistently said simply that the matter is irrelevant - that the church in Africa has far more serious challenges to deal with. Sexuality is and should be peripheral. Nonetheless it is a dangerous charge coming straight from the Mugabe handbook of ecclesiastical subversion: throw mud and use force.
It is always a difficult judgement as to how to respond to public complaints. However, given that the majority coverage in the media is from the disaffected, it would be good to have a factual statement of rebuttal and the steps the bishop is taking on the diocesan website.