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February 28, 2013


Charges of TEC-Related Fraud and Bribery Filed Re: Election of Tanzanian Primate

The general synod of the Anglican Province of Tanzania held an election on Saturday to select a primate, and now a complaint has been filed with the provincial House of Bishops to suspend the results of the election pending an investigation into charges of fraud and bribery.

Elected by just three votes on the third ballot was Bishop Jacob Chimeledya, a graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary—but the total number of votes cast in the election was four more than the number of clergy and laity present and voting.

The runner-up was the existing primate of Tanzania, Archbishop Valentino Mokiwa, who had been serving since 2007, and who was eligible for one more five-year term.

The complaint asks the House to annul the election, and to remove from their offices the synod’s General Secretary, Dr. Dickson Chilongani, and its Registrar, Prof. Palamagamba Kabudi. It alleges that the election had been rigged by means of “walking around” money to the tune of $50,000, spread among those who voted for +Chimeledya, and that the money came from a source within the Episcopal Church (USA).

However, supporters of Bishop Chimeledya have charged that it was Archbishop Mokiwa and his followers who used American money to try to influence the election. But if so, the attempt obviously failed—and the extra four votes remain unexplained.

The two factions differ sharply over the current stance of the Province toward the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada.

In 2006, after ECUSA’s General Convention failed to make any meaningful response to the Windsor Report, the Tanzanian House of Bishops issued a statement condemning the stance of ECUSA, and declaring that its communion with that Church was “severely impaired.” At the same time, the House of Bishops declared that the Anglican Province of Tanzania would remain in communion with those in ECUSA (or those who had left) who are “faithful to Biblical Christianity and the authority of Scripture.”

Bishop Chimeledya and his followers do not support that position, and want to have Tanzania declare that it is once more in full communion with ECUSA and the ACoC. They also reportedly want to distance the Province from the Global South and GAFCON. That agenda is what makes the charges of bribery and fraud in the election so critical.

Ironically, in the same 2006 statement, the Tanzanian House of Bishops declared:

Further to the consequent state of the severely impaired communion, the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Tanzania declares that henceforth the Anglican Church of Tanzania shall not knowingly accept financial and material aid from Dioceses, parishes, Bishops, priests, individuals and institutions in the Episcopal Church (USA) that condone homosexual practice or bless same sex unions.

It will evidently take some time for the truth to emerge. When it does, there could be repercussions here in America.


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23 comments

Can somebody please explain the term, ““walking around money?”

[1] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 2-28-2013 at 04:34 PM · [top]

Cash that’s usually meant to be spent in relatively small amounts, with no records or receipts.

Normal people us “walking around money” to buy things like lunch. TEC apparatchiks use it to bribe people involved in African bishop elections.

[2] Posted by Greg Griffith on 2-28-2013 at 05:03 PM · [top]

UP, the phrase refers to money given on election day to voters “to help them get to the polls to vote.” (See more here. In other words, it’s not given as a direct bribe to vote for a particular candidate, but the person handing out the money makes very sure that the voter knows, if he takes the money, just whom he should choose on the ballot. By pretending that the money is just to help a person do his civic duty, the politicians evade charges of bribery.

In this instance, in Tanzania, the money evidently enabled 129 of its 140 members to get to the synod session so they could vote—plus four “ghost” electors, as well.

[3] Posted by A. S. Haley on 2-28-2013 at 05:05 PM · [top]

It will be interesting to see the complaint, though.

I’m holding off on coming to a firm conclusion—perhaps it is just a suggestion on the complaint or a rumor.

Hard to believe that somebody in TEC could stoop so low.  Well . . . not hard to believe, I guess, but hard to imagine their doing something so open and crass as to get caught.

[4] Posted by Sarah on 2-28-2013 at 05:15 PM · [top]

The article says there were four extra votes, and the winning candidate won by three.  As is common in Africa, regional and tribal differences are involved as well as disagreement about relations with TEC and the ACoC.

Four more votes than there were qualified electors make an invalid election no matter who paid what to whom.  Another election is called for.

[5] Posted by Katherine on 2-28-2013 at 05:45 PM · [top]

“Walking around money” has been common in politics for a VERY long time - clear back to Andrew Jackson’s days if not before, but he popularized it and it’s been common in Democrat circles ever since.
Only makes sense that TEC would now be using the same technique in Africa since it’s now solely a Democrat affiliated organization.

[6] Posted by tpaine on 2-28-2013 at 06:13 PM · [top]

Sarah, I can believe that TEC could stoop so low, and I can believe that they would think they wouldn’t get caught. It’s unlikely that they thought it all the way through, at all, and are now nervously huddling to figure out how to control the damage.

The TEC leadership have shown repeatedly that they know no shame, and shameless people do things like this. When you’ve already hell-bent to spending eternity in a sea of burning pitch, what’s one more infraction?

[7] Posted by Ralph on 2-28-2013 at 06:39 PM · [top]

Can’t speak to here, but you used to hear a similar term in the US- “gas money”, referencing amounts paid to opinion and community leaders, often in minority communities in the south, ostensibly to pay for the gas needed to electioneer and get folks to the poles. I have never heard the term used in the same sentence as “receipts”. Often heard in Democratic circles.  The term is not used as much since most state and federal laws have been tightened up.

I don’t mean to suggest that minority leaders are more susceptible to corruption than others, that is certainly not the case! Just reporting on the use of the term.

[8] Posted by Going Home on 2-28-2013 at 07:23 PM · [top]

Wow.

It will be very important to get to the bottom of this. 

Thank you Curmudgeon for publicising the issue.

[9] Posted by MichaelA on 2-28-2013 at 07:25 PM · [top]

“Repercusions here in America.”  Like a major violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, if true.  Americans are not allowed to use “walking around money” of this sort to influence matters overseas.

[10] Posted by Nasty, Brutish & Short on 2-28-2013 at 11:21 PM · [top]

Whether the charges are true or false, it is apparent that TEC’s GLBT agenda is destroying the unity of the province of Tanzania.  That is bitter fruit (Mt 7).

[11] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 2-28-2013 at 11:38 PM · [top]

My favorite story along these lines, from the last Marcos election in the Philippines:

As Marcos was flooding the country with “walking around money,” the main Philippine cardinal told the country, “if there are people giving you money to vote, take it! They stole it from you in the first place.—and go ahead and vote for who you want to.” !!

[12] Posted by yohanelejos on 3-1-2013 at 08:00 AM · [top]

Maybe there should be a recount in the election of the bishop of Nevada in 2001.

[13] Posted by tjmcmahon on 3-1-2013 at 08:26 AM · [top]

Does anyone know Bishop Chimeledya, or anything about him?  A couple of VTS grads are among the more conservative Anglicans I know (one confessed to me that he dutifully attended all his VTS classes, but managed to maintain his theology in spite of that)- and, of course, have been removed from the rolls of clergy by TEC.  So in my book, VTS attendance in and of itself does not necessarily make one a liberal (of course, as with other TEC seminaries, it gets worse every day).

[14] Posted by tjmcmahon on 3-1-2013 at 08:33 AM · [top]

You know what we call the time candidates for bishop come to visit the diocese and answer questions?

“Walkabouts”

Makes me wonder if that “walking around money” thing has been going on closer to home and has become part of the culture.

[15] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 3-1-2013 at 08:51 AM · [top]

I am not in a position to judge the rival claims in this election. But I have suspicions:

1. I have met Abp. Mokiwa on several occasions and he strikes me as a man of honor and holiness and courage. In October, Islamists burned one of his key churches in Dar and sent him a horrific threatening video.

2. I am not sure how much the current dispute reflects tribal differences but it does break down along catholic and evangelical fault-lines. In terms of their mission history and down to the present, the coastal churches, from which Mokiwa hails, are Anglo-Catholic and the inland churches are Evangelical. Since both sides oppose the content of the TEC theology, it seems likely that it is inner-church politics that makes the church ripe for exploitation.

3. Follow the money trail. Even if “walk-about” money is a valid exercise of democracy, it is not so when it comes from outside. E.g., it was one thing for Obama to raise money from USA fat-cats, quite another to take donations from overseas sources. But in addition to any walk-about money, those interested should check the “Trinity Grants” to Tanzania and see where the money is going.

4. Clearly, peeling away GAFCON provinces is part of TEC/ACO’s strategy for neutering the power of the Global South and getting on with its own agenda.

[16] Posted by Stephen Noll on 3-1-2013 at 11:11 AM · [top]

Sarah and Ralph,

Political activists focused on the gay agenda see it as a human-rights issue and, in effect, a war against bigotry.  Truth and integrity are frequently casualties of war, and the left are often deeply committed to “the end justifies the means,”  so I am not at all surprised that they would inject money into “high leverage” opportunities.  I’m disappointed however that they found African accomplices.

Some years ago I read (quickly) the gay agenda textbook “After the Ball.”  Dirty tricks are certainly fair game for that crowd.

A friend from church, while visiting Malawi, told of the fatal poisoning (this occurred over ten years ago now) of a senior cleric who was opposing TEC influence.  I think the methodology was of African origin but the motivation was TEC-driven. 

Do we have any good insights into the organization and funding of the “global dirty tricks squad” at TEC?  I doubt that these events are uncoordinated.

[17] Posted by Michael D on 3-1-2013 at 12:06 PM · [top]

As Dr Noll observes, it is quite likely that any involvement by TEC will have been together with ACO.

[18] Posted by MichaelA on 3-2-2013 at 04:03 AM · [top]

Sorry I should clarify WRT my #18, that the word “any” means that I am not pre-judging whether TEC was involved in anything nefarious. I am simply stating that TEC tends to work with ACO in most things concerning the wider Anglican Communion.

[19] Posted by MichaelA on 3-2-2013 at 04:05 AM · [top]

No surprise here. The TEC activist actually believe they are doing the work of the Lord when they blatantly withdraw from all moral standards. What needs to happen is the new Archbisop Welby needs to reign in immoral behavior by having an investigation punishing TEC & CofC for breaking laws whether they can find actual legal terms but as the moral codes we as Christians are to uphold. The Communion as a body will be watching.

[20] Posted by Mtn gospel on 3-2-2013 at 10:07 AM · [top]

This article contains serious assertions being offered. However, the article makes as part of its assertion that certain dioceses within TEC provided these supposed funds. This lack of clarity in the charges should make us weary to accept them blindly in spite of their correspondence to what we think and have learned about TEC.

[21] Posted by ILAnglican on 3-2-2013 at 01:18 PM · [top]

OK, What is really going on here?  ACO just put out a press release saying that all the bishops of Tanzania, presumably including Archbishop Mokiwa, (except 2 on leave to study abroad) have signed a document to endorse the election:
http://www.aco.org/acns/news.cfm/2013/3/3/ACNS5332

Now, as much as I don’t trust ACO, if all the bishops endorsed the election, who, exactly, filed the complaint?  Perhaps Kevin and George need to give us some additional details.

[22] Posted by tjmcmahon on 3-3-2013 at 11:35 AM · [top]

Any further news on this?

[23] Posted by MichaelA on 3-10-2013 at 03:46 AM · [top]

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