Single mother of 2 fired for dishing out lula lula to Bulawayo pastor: “I dated him for 10 months”


A church romance has spiraled into a bitter tale of betrayal and unjust repercussions, leaving a single mother of two devastated after losing her job, B-Metro has reported.

Faris Tembo, a former employee of Child Care Ministries Zimbabwe (CCM) in Bulawayo, a renowned non-governmental organization, found herself dismissed for daring to date a pastor employed within the organization. The scandalous affair has exposed a web of deceit, leaving Tembo questioning the fairness of her treatment.

Tembo, a single mother of two, claims she was in a relationship with Pastor Leonard Changara for ten months, a fact that she confided in a senior pastor, Amos Ndlovu, after hearing rumours of Changara’s impending marriage to another woman.

“I was in a relationship with a pastor from our church, Changara from May 2022 up to February 2023. After dating this pastor for 10 months, I heard that he was getting married to another woman. I confronted him and he denied the allegations. I approached the Senior Pastor, Amos Ndlovu telling him about my relationship with Changara and I thought that as a senior pastor, he would advise us but little did I know that I was digging my own grave,” Tembo lamented.

Little did she know that her act of seeking guidance from a trusted spiritual leader would lead to her suspension from work.

A letter dated 19 April 2023, signed by Programme manager, Jeanel M Kugarakupiri, reads: “Following on the email that you did to Pastor Albert Ngalu on the 27th of March and in the email, you acknowledge that you approached Pastor Amos seeking advice about your relationship with Pastor Leonard Chingara. Further to the enquiry we had today on 19th of April 2023 with yourself in the presence of myself, Pastor Nomsa Saurosi and Mengezi Dube, wherein you did not give us any information, I then approached Pastor Amos for more information about this matter. He alluded that you told him about your intimate/sexual relationship with Pastor Leonard. With the above, it is evident that you have acted in a manner which is not consistent with your employment standards. Hence, it is necessary to do some thorough investigations and you are suspended from your duties as a facilitator with effect from the 20th of April 2023 for three months without any salary or benefits and you will be called in for a hearing after the conclusion of the investigations.”

Tembo’s ordeal took a sinister turn when she was subjected to a harrowing interrogation by senior members of the organisation, all of whom were pastors.

“I received a letter of suspension after informing the senior pastor about the challenges that I had with Changara. I was called for a meeting by three male pastors who asked me uncomfortable questions about my relationship. These pastors asked me about the number of times that I engaged in sexual intercourse with Changara and if we were using protection. I served my suspension for three months and Changara was also suspended. After serving my suspension, I was not reinstated but Changara went back to work and I believe that this is probably because he is related to the owner of the organisation,” Tembo alleged.

The questions posed to Tembo by these men of the cloth, questions that delve into the intimate details of her relationship, are not only insensitive but also raise serious concerns about the power dynamics within the organisation.

Tembo was ultimately served with a letter of non-renewal of her job contract, effectively ending her employment with CCM.

“In November 2023, I was called to the office and served with a letter stating that my contract was not going to be renewed. I asked why Changara was not punished, they indicated that he was going to serve his own punishment. I sent the Church Bishop a message and aired my discontent and that is when I was summoned to a meeting and they asked me to choose between getting my five months’ salary that was owed to me and getting my job back. I chose my salary and leaving as the working environment was toxic,” Tembo explained.

A letter addressed to Tembo by CCM on 24 April 2023, cited misconduct as the reason for her suspension.

“We refer to the letter that we issued you on 24 April 2023, where we suspended you pending further investigation for three months, however, the investigations took a bit longer than expected. We observed from the investigations done, that as an employee of the organisation, you indeed breached the national code of conduct and your contract according to Article 18. The code states that if an employee commits a serious misconduct if he or she commits any of the following offences- any act of conduct or omission inconsistent with the fulfilment of the express or implied conditions of his or her contract,” the letter stated.

Tembo’s case has sparked outrage and raised questions about the ethical standards and accountability within CCM. The organisation has been accused of hypocrisy, with some questioning how a pastor, who is supposed to be a role model, could be involved in a relationship that led to the dismissal of a colleague.

“This is a clear case of double standards,” commented a local resident who wished to remain anonymous. “The pastor is allowed to go back to work, while the woman is fired. It’s a blatant abuse of power.”

Tembo’s story is a stark reminder that even within the walls of a church, power dynamics can be complex and potentially abusive. The incident has also highlighted the need for clear guidelines and procedures to address personal relationships within organisations, especially those with religious affiliations.

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