Over 20 Malawian Anglican faithful are in Botswana to attend the consecration of that country’s first ever native Anglican Bishop, Metlhayotlhe Metlhayotlhe Rawlings Ogotseng Beleme.
Bishop Tengatenga, who is also Dean of the Anglican Church for the Central Africa Province which has 15 dioceses in Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, is joined on the trip by Chairman of Anglican Council in Malawi, Rt. Rev Brighton Malasa, three priests and 20 laity from the Malawi Anglican communion.
The consecration of Beleme took place on Sunday, July 14, and also joining in celebrating the Sacrament was Botswana’s President Lt General Seretse Khama Ian Khama.
Venerable Beleme was consecrated Bishop by Head of Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa, the Most Reverend Albert Chama, who is also Bishop of Northern Zambia Diocese.
But he was presented to Archbishop Chama for the consecration and enthronement by Bishop Tengatenga and Rt. Rev Malasa.
Born in Molepolole, Beleme becomes the fifth Bishop of Botswana, which has over 600,000 Anglicans, but the first ever native bishop since it became independent in 1972, according to Diocese of Botswana Executive Director Susan Mogwera.
The Diocesan Executive Director said in an email communication the service was also graced by other Bishops from the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa, several Christian leaders, representatives overseas churches including the Bishop of Newcastle in the Church of England, and the Bishops of Johannesburg, Lesotho and Swaziland.
Mogwera said the 51-year old Bishop-elect is a qualified artisan electrician but he abandoned his trade just after working for three years after his graduation.
“In1989 he responded to God’s call and went to Molepolole to study Theology at Lelapa la Jesu Seminary and the National University of Lesotho in Roma from 1990 to 1992,” said Mogwera .
Beleme is married to Thapelo with whom he has three children.