HomeNewsAFM leader survives ouster bid

AFM leader survives ouster bid

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Newly-appointed Lobengula Extension Apostolic Faith Mission of Africa (AFM) leader, Rosewell Zulu has won a High Court case against rival church members, who were seeking the setting aside of a peace order against them.

BY SILAS NKALA

The church members were also challenging the legality of the appointment of Zulu, who took over as church overseer following the death of Tony Tshuma.

The power wrangles among church members over the control of the church have been dragging on for while, with a faction led by Clement Nyathi challenging the constitutionality of Zulu’s appointment at the High Court.

Church members Cloudious Manamela and Brighton Nanga filed an application at the Bulawayo High Court seeking an order to set aside a magistrate court ruling that granted the church and Zulu a peace order against them.

In their application, they cited Zulu and AFM as respondents.

The matter was heard by Justice Nicholas Mathonsi, who dismissed the two’s application with costs.

“In this application, the two applicants said a lot of things in trying to reverse the effects of what is, in essence, a peace order granted against them by the magistrate court sitting at the Western Commonage Courts at the instance of the respondents,” he said in his ruling.

Justice Mathonsi said the two argued that the court order infringed on their freedoms of worship at a place of their choice, as was enshrined in the Constitution and contested Zulu’s locus standi in bringing the case to court against them, as they viewed him as unconstitutional leader.

But Zulu said the two were no longer members of the church and have no course of action to bring the application to the court.

“I have said that the only issue for determination is whether this court can suspend the operation of an order issued by the magistrate’s court for a binding over order on an application of this nature,” Justice Mathonsi said.

“A binding over order to keep the peace is issued in terms of section 388 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act following a complainant … that a person is conducting himself violently towards or threatening injury on the person or property of another.

“From the chequered history of this matter, it is apparent that the two have made the filing of the application … seeking the same relief that of being allowed back to the church premises they abandoned out of their free will, as their favourite pastime.

“They appear [to be] filing frivolous applications.

“In the result, the application is, hereby, dismissed with costs on the scale of legal practitioner and client.”

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