The General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Tanzania Dr Mwita Akiri (50) has been elected to be the first Bishop of the Diocese of Tarime (east of Lake Victoria and west of Serengeti National Park) within the Anglican Church of Tanzania.
The election was carried out by a special Electoral Synod which consisted of all clergy and lay representatives from 28 parishes in the new Diocese of Tarime numbering 79 in total, of which 77 delegates voted for Dr Akiri. The election took place on Thursday 8 April 2010 at St Luke’s Anglican Church in Tarime town and District, Mara Region. The election was chaired by Bishop Charles Ngusa of the Diocese of Shinyanga on behalf of the Archbishop of Tanzania. Also present was Rev Bethuel Mlula, the Acting Administrative Office of the Anglican Church of Tanzania Head Office in Dodoma who assisted Bishop Ngusa. The Anglican Diocese of Tarime has been carved from the Diocese of Mara.
Following his election, Dr Akiri will be consecrated and enthroned as Bishop on Sunday 4th July 2010 at St Luke’s Anglican Church in Tarime. Anyone who wish to congratulate Dr Akiri may do so through his own email address: email@example.com, or by fax to +255 26 23 24 565.
Dr Mwita Akiri was born on 19th March 1960 at Kigunga Village in Rorya District in Mara Region. He did his secondary education at Nsumba Secondary School in Mwanza city south of Lake Victoria from 1976 to 1979. In a general government training allocation, he was offered a place to study accounts at Cooperative College in Shinyanga in 1980 but declined the offer. Instead he heard God’s calling and joined church ministry. He first served as an evangelist before joining St Philip’s Theological College, Kongwa in Dodoma to train for ordination from 1982 to 1985. He was made Deacon in August 1985 in the Diocese of Victoria Nyanza and served at St John’s Cathedral Church in Musoma while also offering administrative assistance to the first Bishop of Mara. He was ordained Priest in December 1985 in the Diocese of Mara and became the Parish Priest of Mogabiri Parish outside Tarime town from 1985-1988.
Dr Akiri went to England in 1988 to pursue further studies at Trinity College, University of Bristol and graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree. He became Principal of Buhemba Bible College from 1991-1994 while also serving as Parish Priest and Rural Dean of Buhemba as well as the Bible Societies of Kenya and Tanzania as Bible Translator. He returned to the United Kingdom in 1994 to study at Edinburgh University where he obtained a Master of Theology degree in 1995. He later graduated with a PhD from the same University in 1999. Upon his return to Tanzania, Dr Akiri served as Director of Education of the Anglican Diocese of Mara in 2000 before being appointed as Acting General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Tanzania in 2001. He became the Genera1 Secretary of the Anglican of Tanzania in 2002, a post he has held until his election as Bishop of Tarime.
Dr Akiri who is a Visiting Professor at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, Canada, is also a member of St John’s University of Tanzania Council. St John’s University in Dodoma is owned by the Anglican Church of Tanzania. Dr Akiri is also a member of the worldwide Anglican Consultative Council (the body responsible for Anglican Communion affairs). Also he serves on the Anglican Communion Health Network Board. He is the Founder Chairman of two NGOs, namely TADESS (registered in 1997) which serves low-income women and youth groups in Tarime; and ESAT (registered in 2004) whose main objectives are to provide of quality formal and practical education for children, young people and adults;, and to establish information technology centres as well as library services.
Mwita is married to Mukami and they have two children.
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