Sun sets on Mutumwa Taguta

22 Apr, 2022 - 00:04 0 Views
Sun sets on Mutumwa Taguta Mutumwa St Noah Taguta’s remains are carried to their final resting place at the summit of Chinyamukumba Mountain in Marange on Wednesday. The mountain, which is in Taguta Village, is where Johane Marange leaders − including founder Johane Muchabaya Momberume, St John and St Abel, among others − were buried. − Picture: Tinai Nyadzayo

The ManicaPost


. Family speaks on successor
. Bleak future for church


Samuel Kadungure
Senior Reporter

THE Johane Marange Apostolic Church is not in a hurry to anoint a successor for Mutumwa St Noah Taguta, who was on Wednesday buried on a sacred mountain summit preserved for church leaders despite concerted efforts by a rival faction to stall the burial through a court interdict, The Manica Post has established.

It is understood that since there was no clear succession plan, the church and the Taguta family had decided to tackle the issue after consulting the Holy Spirit when the mourning period ends.

Ever since the death of the church’s founder, Johane Muchabaya Momberume, the church has been battling with the issue of succession, which has caused several splits.

Mutumwa Taguta died on Sunday at the age of 82 after a long illness.

He, however, had not been seeking medical treatment as the church’s doctrine abhors that.

Mutumwa Taguta was accorded a State-assisted funeral and his remains were interred at the summit of the sacred Chinyamukumba Mountain, where the church’s founder was also buried.

This was despite spirited attempts by the deceased’s nephew, Mr Clements Momberume, who sought to interdict the burial proceedings.

In an interview with The Manica Post, family spokesperson, Mr Phillip Taguta, said although there was no succession plan in place, the church would tackle the thorny issue after the mourning period lapses.

However, Mr Taguta was coy in discussing the interim leadership, saying he was too junior to talk about such matters.

“Our leader always encouraged us to unite and work hard. We are united as a family and a church. He was not feeling well for some time, which was normal given his age. For the past month, he was complaining of itchy legs and stomach pains.

“His death is difficult to accept because he was a pillar of strength for both the family and the church. It is the darkest chapter in the family and church’s history. We never anticipated it would get to this and thought he would recover. This caught us unprepared. It is painful, but we have to accept the will of God.

“You start to think of the multitudes of people he was leading, and what the future of the church holds. He was a great leader who commanded respect from multitudes of followers across the globe. That is why thousands of his followers are here to mourn him, and the future is not really bright. Nobody knows what the future holds.

“I am not the one earmarked to succeed him. That responsibility is not on my shoulders. No one knows what will happen and you will be advised on what would have been decided when the mourning period lapses. At the moment, the church and the family are seized with mourning,” said Mr Taguta.

Mr Taguta had unkind words for Mr Clements Momberume, whom he said was neither informed of Mutumwa Taguta’s death nor invited to his funeral as he was no longer considered a family member.

“Our relationship with Clements was terminated when he decided to do his own thing.

“We do not even communicate or relate with him anymore. We neither work together nor see eye-to-eye, and that is why he was not invited here. It has to do with his rebellion which caused him to leave the church. He was banished from the family. He left and started his own church against the elders’ advice, hence we have nothing to do with him,” said Mr Taguta.

Mr Momberume, through his lawyers – Maunga, Maanda and Associates – applied to interdict Saratiel Taguta and Titos Taguta or their agents from interfering with the gravesite of their late father (Johane Muchabaya Momberume), which is at the south-western side of the Chimyamukumba Mountain Range in Taguta Village under Chief Marange.

The interdict was granted by Mutare provincial magistrate, Mr Langton Carter.

However, despite the interdict, the burial continued without incident, with thousands of followers in attendance enduring the cold, rainy weather.

Said Mr Taguta: “It is a sign of royal-hood to be buried at the mountain summit. It is a sacred place where only great leaders from the Momberume family are buried. That is where the founder of the church, the late Johane Muchabaya Momberume, St John and St Abel, among others, were buried.”

Insiders who spoke on condition of anonymity said factions in the church might align with certain leaders depending on what they stand to benefit if their preferred candidate becomes the new leader of the church.

They warned that the faction that loses might resort to seeking the courts’ intervention, as was the case with Mr Clements Momberume in the 1990s.

It is also understood that there is economic motive in the leadership succession issue as the church’ leader superintends over the institution’s assets that include the St Noah Group of Schools comprising St Noah One and Two, St Abel, St Zacharia, St Makaab, St Arnold One and Two; as well as several farms in Nyazura and Chipinge.

But Mr Taguta rubbished that theory, highlighting that the assets belong to the church, not the leader.

“That is only speculation. The empire being mentioned belongs to the church and will continue operating under the church. These assets were built to uplift the lives of church members, not a few selected people. The whole idea was to ensure that members of the church acquire modern and productive education so that they can improve their lives,” he said.

Commenting on what was being peddled on social media, Mr Taguta ruled out the possibility of Mutumwa Taguta resurrecting.
Some of the members of the Johane Marange church revere the late Mutumwa Taguta and saw him as a messiah.

Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Nokhutula Matsikenyere led a high powered delegation of Government officials at Mutumwa Taguta’s burial and urged the church to shun divisions.

Minister Matsikenyere delivered President Mnangagwa’s speech.

“There is need for the church to be guided by the doctrine left by Mutumwa Noah who was development oriented. We want you to follow his footprints on peaceful co-existence and we don’t want divisions within the church. The church should continue to grow,” she said.

Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Deputy Minister, Honourable Tino Machakaire; Manicaland Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mr Edgars Seenza; service chefs, ZANU PF legislators, church and traditional leaders were also in attendance.

Born on March 20, 1940 in Chipfatsura Village, Marange, Mutumwa Taguta moved to Mafararikwa at the age of six for his primary education.

He was well-known for supporting the liberation struggle and was ordained as a priest in 1992.

Mutumwa Taguta was also a passionate farmer and delivered 4 000 metric tonnes of maize to the Grain Marketing Board last season.

He also electrified Taguta Village and constructed schools in Manicaland and Mashonaland East provinces, in addition to a modern football ground in his home area.

He is survived by 25 wives, 125 children, 300 grandchildren and 40 great grandchildren.

Most of the widows are between 60 and 70, with the youngest in her 30s.


His youngest child is around five years old.


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