Court raps judge for miscarriage of justice

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THE Supreme Court on Thursday rapped High Court judge Justice Alphas Chitakunye, for allegedly presiding over and making a ruling in a property wrangle, including church regalia, between members of the Johanne Marange Apostolic Church without hearing submissions from the disputing parties.

BY CHARLES LAITON

The court heard that Justice Chitakunye did not invite either of the parties – Noah Taguta and Clemence Momberume to appear before him before he could determine who between them would take control of the disputed property.

Advocate Ray Goba, who was representing Taguta, one of the faction leaders fighting for the control of the church said Justice Chitakunye never called him or Momberume’s lawyer, Munangati Manongwa.

Instead, he said, Justice Chitakunye ruled that Momberume should take custody of the church property.

“This is a long dispute between the two factions dating back to 2007 relating to ownership of the church regalia and other property,” said Advocate Goba.

“Justice Chitakunye issued judgment in the matter and he purports to have listened to my learned friend (Munangati) and my instructing-attorney, but our attorneys are denying having appeared for the hearing and the judgment came from the blue,” he said.

“The learned judge ought not to have delivered judgment without hearing parties . . . what is intriguing is the choice of words by the judge and at no point does he mention that parties appeared before him and were heard,” he added before setting aside Justice Chitakunye’s judgment.

Judges of appeal, Justices Paddington Garwe, Anne-Mary Gowora and Antonia Guvava concurred that it was clear from the papers presented in court that Justice Chitakunye did not arrive at his findings from listening to the disputing parties.

“The position appears clear that neither of the parties appeared before the court to make submission upon which the judgment was passed,” the court said.

“The judgment is therefore improper and cannot be allowed to stand. The appeal is allowed with no order as to costs and judgment by Justice Chitakunye under case number HC11723/11, be and is hereby set aside,” it added.

The quashing of the judgment paved the way for the resumption of the property wrangle pitting Momberume and Taguta after the Supreme Court referred the matter back to the High Court to be heard by any judge.

The two factions are up in arms over the ownership and control of two tins of water, three pots, two wooden boxes containing glasses and tea pot, 11 church garments (blue priestly garments), seven church clothing and eight church belts.

The property in dispute was allegedly taken by Momberume soon after the death of the church’s founder, Johanne Marange sometime in 2001.

At one point, the two factions were charged with public violence following the fight for the control of the church between Taguta and Momberume factions.

On July 18, 2001, the two factions again fought for the control of the body of Marange’s son Oliver when they gathered for his funeral at Taguta village, Chief Marange in Mutare.

The fighting members were sentenced to serve an effective 16-month-jail term by the then senior magistrate Walter Chikwanha, whose sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court last year.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Shoko raYave rinoti avo vanonamata mumweya nemuzvokwadi havafaniri kukwirirana matare ekunyika. Vanofanira kuyanana pachavo savanamati. Litigation is a sign of failure as worshipers. What then is the difference with heathens?

  2. When evil governs, the country lands into the valley, and the Church gets troubled. Zimbabwe needs spiritual deliverance.

  3. GOOD ADVICE: Do something for yourself, for your family. Don’t waste your time talking politics while others are enjoying their lives with money without politics. See how this Zimbabwean poor woman became a millionaire just by buying and selling solar panels to the people in rural areas/villages so they can have electricity easily and very cheap. Very interesting. Go to SOLARTECH [dot] CO, not [dot] com, to see the methods and companies she was using SOLARTECH [dot] CO, not [dot] com. Wake up Africans

  4. when a church approaches the courts for worldly justices, then it’s not God’s church in the beginning but stan’s….

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