PRESIDENT Mnangagwa last Saturday paid homage to the newly ordained Johane Marange Apostolic Church High Priest, Nimrod Taguta, during his private visit to the Taguta family to pay his condolences following the death of the late High Priest Noah Taguta.
High Priest Nimrod took over the reins of both the church and the family from his late father, Mutumwa Noah Taguta.
In an interview after meeting the family in Mafararikwa, Marange, President Mnangagwa confirmed the ordination of the new High Priest and said he will visit the congregants during their July Passover.
“I came here quietly to meet the family. The late Saint Noah, the High Priest, was a very close friend of mine. We shared views about the church and the country. I was so saddened when I was informed that he had passed on.
“When he died, there were a lot of people congregating here, and I sent the Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Cde Nokuthula Matsikenyere, to represent me. I decided that when everything was quiet I will come and meet the family and the new High Priest. I will meet the church in July,” said President Mnangagwa.
In a separate interview, the Taguta family spokesperson, Mr Phillip Taguta said one of the late Mutumwa Taguta’s sons, Nimrod, has been ordained as the new church leader.
“We now have a new High Priest who was chosen and anointed by our late father, Mutumwa Noah Taguta, while he was still alive. He will lead both the church and the family just like what our departed father used to do.
“Nimrod is one of the late Mutumwa Taguta’s sons. The process of choosing the successor takes time and it started long back, well before our late father’s fell ill. Nimrod would always accompany our father on the various missions they embarked on in and outside the country,” he said.
Mr Taguta said Mutumwa Nimrod has been embraced as the new leader by the thousands of Johane Marange Apostolic Church members across the world.
“All congregants have accepted the new leader and everyone is following the dictates of the spirit. Rebellious members will be excommunicated just like what happened to Clements Momberume who rebelled when our late father was ordained,” said Mr Taguta.
Over the years, Mr Momberume has been in and out of the courts over the church’s leadership and succession issues.
Recently, Mr Momberume, through his lawyers Maunga, Maanda and Associates, applied to interdict the burial of Mutumwa Taguta at the Chimyamukumba Mountain Range in Taguta Village.
He argued that the Tagutas were not supposed to interfere with the gravesite of his late father (Johane Muchabaya Momberume).
The interdict was granted by Mutare provincial magistrate, Mr Langton Carter.
However, despite the interdict, the burial continued without incident.
“Clements has always been like that, even when our father was still alive. He got into numerous court battles with our late father and leader, but all in vain. We will not entertain his shenanigans as we are a united lot, both as a family and church. We will continue following the church’s doctrine as prescribed by our founding father, Baba Johane Muchabaya Momberume,” said Mr Taguta.
He went on to deny allegations that the late Mutumwa Taguta’e estate is being looted by his family members.
“There was no assets stripping or looting by family members as being alleged by some sections of the society. Everything is intact and we are all united as a family,” said Mr Taguta.
Under the stewardship of the late Mutumwa Taguta, the Johane Marange Apostolic Church built the St Noah Group of Schools comprising St Noah One and Two, St Abel, St Zacharia, St Makaab, as well as St Arnold One and Two.
The church also has several farms in Nyazura and Chipinge.
It also electrified Taguta Village and constructed a modern football pitch.
High Priest Noah Taguta, who was accorded a State-assisted funeral, was well-known for supporting the liberation struggle and was ordained as a priest in 1992.
He is survived by 25 wives, 125 children, 300 grandchildren and 40 great-grandchildren.