THE leadership wrangle at the Apostolic Mission in Zimbabwe (AFMZ) has taken a new twist with church president, Asper Madziyire, being accused of tinkering with the constitution to defer the elections and extend his executive’s stay in power.
BY CHARLES LAITON
This was revealed in an application filed at the High Court on May 21, by Madziyire’s rival, Kefias Mujokeri who is seeking a mandatory interdict order compelling the church to set the date for the election of new provincial workers and apostolic councils.
In the same application, Mujokeri is also seeking an order to declare Madziyire and his executive’s continued stay in office as unconstitutional.
“This is an application for a mandatory interdict compelling and mandating the first respondent (AFMZ) to set the date for the election of provincial workers council (PWC) and the apostolic council (AC). It also seeks to declare that the second and third respondents (Madziyire and Peter Magejo)’s continued stay in office as unconstitutional and in violation of the applicant’s right to protection of the law as provided for by section 56 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” Mujokeri said in his founding affidavit.
“The second to the 34th respondent’s terms of office have already expired and they have failed, neglected and ignored to comply with the first respondent’s Constitution which requires a democratic election within the election year that ended in April 2018.”
Mujokeri claimed that sometime in March 2015, AFMZ held its last provincial council elections which culminated in the election of Magejo and 33 other reverends as provincial overseers and the subsequent re-election of Madziyire into office for a fifth time.
“The election year ended on April 28, 2018 and the second and third respondents’ terms of office in the PWC and AC ended on the same date. From this date, the second and third respondents together with the other overseers ceased to legally hold office as overseers within the first respondent,” he said.
“As a result of the constitutional vacuum, the first respondent and its members including me (Mujokeri) have been left without recourse and the immediate past president and deputy president publicly haggling over who has the power to call for the necessary conferences to conduct elections.”
“The situation has also been exacerbated by the attempt by some of the members to push for an amendment of the constitution to increase the maximum age limit of office bearers so as to allow them to contest for another term beyond the 65 years maximum age limit,” he said adding: “It is indeed in the interest of justice that the second respondent and all other overseers of the first respondent be barred from conducting any further executive functions on behalf of the first respondent and that they be ordered to conduct PWC elections within 14 days of this order and the AC elections with 14 days of the same order.”
The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.