PRIEST DEMANDS MONEY FOR BURIALS | A Roman Catholic church priest based at the Murewa Centre parish is facing a rebellion from worshippers after he refused to wash their feet when they wanted to have holy communion.
The incident has left parishioners disgruntled after Father Farai Ruwona told them he could not wash their “smelly feet with cracked heels”.The parishioners from the rural areas have lodged a catalogue of complaints against their church leader with the senior bishops but nothing has been done to address their concerns.
They say the man of cloth is making financial demands that are unbearable on the worshippers.
Ruwona is also under fire for abruptly dismissing one Dominic Makunde from work as a janitor last month in a bid to replace him with a person of his choice.
Makunde had worked as a janitor for five years and was dismissed by Ruwona without notice, going home with a $54 package.
“We have been with Makunde for five years and he has been doing his work perfectly. Makunde is slow to learn but when you give him an instruction, he does everything according to book.
“There is no way we can say we are a church entity and have a priest behaving like he has no religious calling,” said the source, who is also a member at the Murewa parish.
Another source said Ruwona is demanding money from church members to preside over burials of the dead church members.
Said the source: “When we had prepared to have holy communion sometime at Easter holiday, the priest came and delivered his service, telling congregants that he could not conduct the communion.
“Vakati kwatiri imi vanhu vekumamisha tsoka dzenyu dzinonhuwa uye mune man’a saka zvimwe zvacho zvinopedzisira zvakusemesa kuti tiite.
“The priest is not doing what he should be doing. He is always after money from the congregants. Even presiding over the burial of a church member, he demands money. At one-point vakaramba kuviga imwe nhengo yesangano mushure mekunge mudzimai wacho ati anga aine $50, priest vakati dai yaita $100. The burial was however presided by another Christian denomination. We have informed senior bishops of these issues, but they are not addressing them.”
The sources further referred this publication to one Father Mutiro who co-administers the parish with Ruwona as the one also aware of the developments.
Contacted for comment, Father Mutiro expressed ignorance and he distanced himself.
“I am just an assistant. What you are saying is news to me,” said Father Mutiro.
When the H-Metro contacted Father Ruwona, the man of cloth threatened unspecified action and demanded to know the sources whom he labelled “his lying enemies.”
He also confirmed that he made a unilateral decision to dismiss Makunde before saying it was “the consensus of the parish council”.
“Give me their names or else!” fumed Ruwona.
“These people are telling you lies and you must listen to me. They are my enemies. Why are you not telling me their names so that I deal with them? I am going to find out who approached you and will interrogate them.
“Pane hangu vanhu vandiri kufungidzira. Manje inini handina kana basa nazvo. Buritsai chinyaya chacho,” said Ruwona.
The under-fire priest said he dismissed Makunde because he was no longer of use to him.
“Ehe! I dismissed him. He was just someone I could not help anymore. He was doing me a disservice and I cannot be forced to help someone I do not want to help,” he added.