AU staffer resigns; chancellor to leave at year's end

5/1/2007

By United Methodist News Service

OLD MUTARE, Zimbabwe — A staff member of Africa University has resigned following an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct toward female students and women related to the university.

 

Benon Kigozi, the school’s music lecturer and choir director, resigned April 23 after being suspended April 14 by the executive committee of the university’s board of directors. Findings of an independent investigation had been presented to the committee during the board’s annual meeting April 12-14. Allegations and complaints had been lodged against Kigozi over a two-year period, prompting the committee in November to authorize the investigation.

 

Vice Chancellor Rukudzo Murapa called it “a disturbing report.”

 

Speaking with United Methodist News Service, Kigozi denied the allegations and said he resigned because “for the last few years I have been victimized and defamed by my supervisor,” who is a woman.

 

In an unrelated matter, Bishop Ntambo Nkulu Ntanda will step down as chancellor of Africa University at the end of 2007 due to conflicting legislative and episcopal schedules and duties. Ntambo, 59, announced his resignation on April 14.

 

He hopes a new chancellor is chosen by the end of 2007 or the beginning of 2008. Since 1996, he has been United Methodist bishop in the Democratic Republic of Congo and led the denomination’s North Katanga Area. In January, he was elected to a five-year term in that country’s Senate. Ntambo told the board he has struggled to be effective in his duties to the episcopacy, Senate and Africa University since his election.

 

 “My commitment to Africa University is for life, but conflicting programs and time led me to make this decision for the benefit of this institution to have someone who would be more effective and make each area of the campus a success,” he said.

 

Strengthening the Black Church event scheduled for June

The United Methodist Board of Church and Society and the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race will host “Strengthening The Black Church for the 21st Century Familiarization” June 24-27 at the United Methodist Building in Washington.

 

The event will give African-American church leaders an opportunity to tour the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill, meet with agency executives and staff, learn about ministries of advocacy and become better interpreters of the social justice ministry of the denomination. The deadline for registration is May 18. Call (202) 488-5658 for more information.

 

Faith-based TV, radio spots address campus shootings

BLACKSBURG, Va. — The region surrounding Virginia Tech is receiving a faith-based message of comfort and hope from the people of The United Methodist Church through television and radio spots and newspaper ads addressing the college campus massacre.

 

During the week of April 23, more than 300 television spots and radio tags were reminding listeners and viewers in southwestern Virginia that The United Methodist Church in Virginia is praying with them. On April 22, a full-page ad in The Roanoke Times proclaimed that “fear is not the only force at work in the world today.”

 

All the media spots invite people to visit the Roanoke District Web site (www.roanokeumc.org) for a listing of practical suggestions about how to talk with children about the shooting to help them feel safe in a sometimes violent world. The site also helps visitors search for a local United Methodist church.

 

The $32,000 effort was expected to reach about 378,000 households, or 83 percent of the Roanoke area market, with funding by various sources within the Virginia Conference and grants from United Methodist Communications and the United Methodist Committee on Relief.