TWO sons of the late founder of Zion Apostolic Faith Mission Church Bishop Dorius Pedzisai Shoko, are locked in an acrimonious legal battle to take over leadership of the church following their father’s death in October last year.
Report by Phillip Chidavaenzi
The battle has spilled into the High Court, which is now expected to hear the case and make a determination as to who is the rightful heir to the throne.
The brothers, Jameson and Ezra Pedzisai Shoko, have different mothers, with Ezra coming from the lower house.
Following Shoko’s death, Ezra was appointed the new bishop on the basis that their father had spoken by word of mouth and written in his will that Ezra should take over the church leadership.
Jameson, however, argued that Ezra’s appointment was a violation of church tradition.
“The church’s succession tradition based on the September 27, 1947 covenant between Samuel Mutendi, David Masuka and Andrew Shoko, representing the three Zion churches, dictates that upon the death of a bishop, the late bishop’s eldest son from his first wife takes over the throne and is supposed to be ordained by the remaining two bishops or their successors at the deceased bishop’s memorial service,” Jameson argued.
He denied that there was ever such an appointment made by word of mouth and there was no written confirmation to that effect.
During Shoko’s memorial ceremony held on December 30 last year, Ezra was ordained the new bishop.
Jameson is alleged to have teamed up with some people who were not members of the church with the intention of usurping Ezra’s leadership, arguing that the appointment was not recognised by the church’s Council of High Priests.
Further allegations are that Jameson was now interfering with the church’s activities by sending his sympathisers to violently attack church followers while they conduct service.
The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.