Bwana asifiwe! Praise the Lord! Dr Mwita Akiri has been elected and consecrated as the first bishop of the new Diocese of Tarime, in northern Tanzania.
The new diocese was created out of the existing Diocese of Mara in response to church growth
USPG Mission Companion Jane Canning, who is training teachers and nurses at the Anglican Church of Tanzania’s St John’s University, said: ‘Bishop Mwita was elected by an overwhelming majority. He is a man of scorching intelligence and boundless energy.’
Tarime, a vibrant rural community close to the Kenyan border, is Bishop Mwita’s home town. The bishop previously served the Anglican Church in Tanzania’s provincial secretariat for nine years.
A service was held to inaugurate the new diocese and consecrate its bishop on Sunday 4 July at St Luke’s Church, in Tarime. Guest of honour was the president of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete. The service lasted seven hours and included performances by eight choirs.
'A touching moment'
Jane reported: ‘A touching moment was when the Bishop of Mara dismantled his crook, to show that he had relinquished authority in the new diocese, then a new crook was handed to Bishop Akiri.
‘It was a glorious and happy day. ‘It was a glorious and happy day. As the service progressed, the kinetics of the choirs increased so that, by the time we reached the communion, the singers were leaping in time to the music.’
After the service, there was a shared meal, more singing, and Bishop Mwita and his wife were presented with gifts, including two goats, a sheep and a cow.
She added: ‘The whole event came to a close at around 8pm with warm words of encouragement from the new bishop to his diocese. It was a great occasion and I am so pleased to have been able to be there.’
‘The whole of the proceedings were in Kiswahili, except for messages of congratulation from the Archbishop of Canterbury and USPG, which were read out in English.’
Article from USPG