UNITED Family International Church leader Emmanuel Makandiwa and his wife, Ruth, have won the $6,5 million “false prophecy” claim after the High Court dismissed the application by a business couple that was seeking a refund of their contributions to the church.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Justice Tagu granted the clergy couple an order allowing them not to defend the lawsuit and dismissed the six claims by the Mashangwas.
The Mashangwas filed their suit at the High Court in 2017, claiming they had fallen prey to a prophecy by Makandiwa promising them a “debt cancellation miracle”, but instead their business nose-dived.
The suit claimed that sometime in 2012, Makandiwa misrepresented in a prophecy before encouraging the Mashangwas to continue giving to the church. But as time went by, their Marlborough house was attached and sold for $500 000 instead of $700 000, among other losses. However, after receiving the summons, Makandiwa and his wife, through their lawyer Advocate Lewis Uriri, filed an exception application, arguing that secular courts could not deal with matters of faith, church practice and doctrine.
But High Court judge Justice David Mangota dismissed the application, saying the Mashangwas’ claims against the couple, were grounded in alleged fraudulent activities and not in contract.
Early last year, the Makandiwas again filed another court application, saying the lawsuit against them was a “grandstanding to harass, vex and injure their reputation and good standing”.
In his affidavit, Makandiwa denied ever making the couple’s “debt cancellation prophecy”, adding that the Mashangwas lost their house, if any, to a third party, which matter had nothing to do with the church.