THREE members of the Bishop Chad Gandiya-led Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) were arrested at Bonda Mission in Manicaland on Sunday for allegedly breaking into the church.
Report by Feluna Nleya Staff Reporter
The three, Reverend Musaerengana Mukome, church warden Wilson Matafa and treasurer Langton Mandimutsira, were released without charge yesterday following the intervention of their lawyer Blessing Nyamaropa.
Nyamaropa told NewsDay his clients were arrested after a church service and detained overnight at Mutasa District Police Station for unlawful entry into church premises. Nyamaropa said more than 600 congregants had converged at the church.
“We went to Nyanga Magistrates’ Courts in the morning,” he said.
“I gave the prosecutor my submissions that CPCA had the right to be in the church and had not committed any offence in which the prosecutor agreed and they were released.”
Nyamaropa said the CPCA members wanted to use the church building following a recent Supreme Court decision to strike off the roll an appeal filed by his clients’ rival Elson Jakazi.
“The people from the Jakazi faction had appealed to the Supreme Court, but the case was struck off the roll. That is what made the CPCA members to go back to the church,” he said.
“So after talking to the prosecutor, he said there was no offence committed, so they were released.”
Jakazi is believed to be sympathetic to excommunicated Anglican leader Archbishop Nolbert Kunonga who, two weeks ago, lost the battle for control of church assets in a landmark ruling.
The Supreme Court confirmed Gandiya was the legitimate church leader and accorded sole custody of all church properties.