By Mary Taruvinga
THE widow of late top local church founder Cuthbert Tafundikira Makoni, Leddie Makoni, and her son Collin Zondai Makoni are involved in a bitter fight over the church’s presidency.
The mother, Leddie has since approached the High Court seeking a declaratur that she is the rightful leader of the church according to the constitution of Christ Ministries Church.
She wants her son, Collin to be stopped from creating confusion in the church and interfering with the church’s business.
Christ Ministries Church was cited as the first applicant in the court application while Leddie is the second applicant.
She complained her son had developed the habit of scandalising her in a bid to win favours from church members.
Collin, Moses Ruvetsa, and the Registrar of Marriages were cited as first, second and third respondents, respectively.
According to the court application, the church solemnises civil marriages in terms of the Marriage Act (Chapter 5:11) and is required by law to submit a copy of its constitution to the Registrar of Marriages.
However, according to Leddie’s affidavit, her son is influencing the Marriages Registrar not to entertain her.
She said she founded the Christ Ministries Church with her late husband with the now deceased being the founding president.
On April 4, 1992, a special meeting of the church’s assembly adopted a constitution for the church and in terms of that constitution, the church is a corporate body, separate and distinct from its members.
Leddie said prior to his death, her husband on October 6 2014 executed his last will and testament.
“In his will, my late husband appointed me to succeed him as president. This puts the succession issue beyond debate. I was appointed as the successor to Rev C T Makoni before his death in accordance with clause 6(a) of the Constitution,” she says in her court papers.
“Accordingly, my exercise of presidential powers is lawful and constitutional. I have a clear right to the presidency and I respectfully request this court to grant me a declaration to this effect.”
She said Collin does not recognise her as the president of the church.
Collin has also instructed his guards to bar Leddie from visiting the church office insisting the religious institution had no leader yet since the death of his father.
“The dispute arises from the conduct of the first respondent who is my second child,” Leddie said.
“He refuses to recognise my appointment as president and has issued endless correspondence to members of the church in which he scandalises me and other senior members of the church. His conduct is causing unnecessary instability within the church.”
Leddie further accused her son of getting support from Ruvetsa who claims to be head of denomination adding Ruvetsa was writing letters to the Registrar of Marriages instructing him to reject the church’s 1992 constitution.
She said Ruvetsa continues to cause havoc despite that he is based in the United Kingdom where he has started his own church known as Maranatha Assemblies of God.
Leddie said her son’s conduct can only be stopped by a court interdict.
The case is yet to be set down for hearing.