The General Secretariat of IMBISA is in Harare and has 3 departments namely Social Department, Pastoral Department and Finance and Administration. The various departments which the organization used to have that is the Refugee Service Department, Social Communications, Theological Reflection and Exchange Department, Biblical Pastoral Ministry Department, Justice and Peace Department, Translation Desk and Finance and Administration Department were consolidated into three main domains as IMBISA restructured
The general Secretariat is responsible for carrying out the day to day business of IMBISA and whatever has been assigned to it by the Standing Committee. The General Secretariat consists of: The Secretary General who is a Bishop member of IMBISA, a Director or Principal Secretary who is a priest nominated by the Secretary General and approved by the Standing Committee.
The General Secretariat has the authority to:
• Prepare meeting minutes of IMBISA meetings
• Act as Treasurer and manage carefully the goods and property of IMBISA
• Approve press releases
• Appoint personnel required
• Submit annual financial report and prepare the annual budget etc
This department consists of Justice and Peace, Migration and Refugees and Social Communications. At the heart of the social department are the core values of human dignity and development.
Justice and Peace Domain functions
• Liaison and collaboration between the member Conferences of IMBISA
• Coordinating issues of Justice and Peace within the region
• Animating Justice and Peace activities at the level of individual Conferences and establishing a network of Justice and Peace at regional and inter –regional level
• Researching and analysing issues of Justice and Peace in the region and advising the Bishops on their impact and relevant action the Church could take
• Collaborating with other Justice and Peace institutions within and outside the region
• Collaborating with governmental regional organisations such as SADC and explore possible areas of collaboration on behalf of IMBISA
• Collaborating with the Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace department and other International Catholic orgasanizations for Justice and Peace
• Imparting to the coordinators of the Catholic Commissions for Justice and Peace (CCJPs) clear Christian Ethical Values in their approach and dealing with social issues so as to accomplish a proper Christian Mission
• Training the CCJPs in the Social Catholic Teaching of the Church, to enable them to spread the Gospel values within Society
Migration and Refugees Domain functions
• Provide pastoral care for refugees and migrants in the region
• Advocacy on behalf of refugees and displaced people and conscientises the local Church on their responsibilities towards refugees
• Giving assistance to member Conferences and their agencies in resource mobilization both human and financial
• Coordinating, animating, motivating, mediating, encouraging and supporting the pastoral care and development work for refugees, migrants, asylum seekers and internally displaced people within the region itself as well as in neighboring countries where refugees from the IMBISA region have found refugee
Social Communications Domain functions
• Establish a communication network among IMBISA member states
• Establish a bilingual secretariat
• Facilitate communication among bishops
• Animate and organize communication courses at IMBISA level
• Train people who could possibly take communication jobs at Episcopal Conference level ( both the religious and laity)
• Represent IMBISA Social Communications at continental level and intercontinental levels
This department consists of Biblical Pastoral Ministry and Theological Reflection.
Biblical Pastoral Ministry
The mission of the Biblical Pastoral Ministry is bringing the Gospel to the people of IMBISA region and deepening their understanding and appreciation of the Bible, through different activities such as:
• Providing Bibles for all people especially the Laity and the Youth
• Translation of the Bible, training of Bible facilitators/animators/teachers by means of courses
• Workshops, at Regional and Parish levels
• Coordinate the activities in the Region for information so that people of the Region may benefit from each other’s expertise
This department is concerned with deepening an understanding and appreciation of the central document of the Christian faith, the Bible. They believe that such an understanding would form the basis for constructive reflection on the Southern Africa situation and thereby derive solutions to challenges encountered in different circumstances. The Department also promotes and coordinates the Biblical Pastoral Ministry in the Region with the assistance of the General Secretary of the Catholic Biblical Federation (CBF).
The aim of this domain is to facilitate and foster theological reflection and research on the meaning of the Good News and the mission of the Church in the IMBISA region. This mission is to be achieved by fostering exchange efforts on existing efforts of reflection and research and to plan and coordinate future efforts in the region
Finance and Administration
The Finance and Administration Department is the custodian of IMBISA’S assets, properties and finances. The general functions are;
• Preparing the budget for IMBISA
• Keeping daily financial transactions for the Organisation
• Accounting for the use of IMBISA and donor funds
• Ensuring that departments adhere to accounting practices when carrying out their activities.
The desk was established to facilitate communication between Episcopal Conferences by making translations chiefly between the two languages groups that is English and Portuguese. Apart from translating documents, this desk also provides simultaneous interpretations during meetings, plenary gatherings and workshops or seminars.