By Mary Taruvinga
THE High Court has barred Paul Mwazha’s sons and other former African Apostolic Church (Vapostora VeAfrica) leaders from visiting the church’s shrine as the leadership wrangle takes centre stage.
Founded by Paul Mwazha, the church senior members are currently in friction following the formation of a breakaway faction.
Power fights started after Mwazha’s son, Alfred, publicly announced himself as the successor to his father.
He purported to have taken over the reins of the church, jettisoning his aged and ailing father.
Ernest Mhambare, who is a reverend in the church, then approached the courts seeking to nullify the appointment, arguing that Alfred had attempted to usurp the position.
The application was granted by Justice Chitapi, who ruled that Paul Mwazha would retain his position as the Archbishop, fueling the power fight, with Alfred teaming up with his brothers and their allies.
Last year, the matter spilled into the supreme court, which reinstated the church’s founder as the leader.
However, the battle did not end.
Mhambare again sued Mwazha’s sons and other members for defying the Supreme Court order.
Mwazha’s sons, Alfred, Ngoni, Masimba, and James Mwazha as well as Richard Juru, Elson Tafa, Charles Tekeshe, Lovemore Mharadze and Norman Siyamuzhombwa are still being accused of causing havoc .
They are the alleged culprits in the present application filed early this year through the church’s vice chairperson of the board of trustees, Patrick Mahachi.
Mahachi said the gang had invaded the church shrine, known as Guvambwa, in Chivhu.
The new faction was also accused of vandalising property at the church’s most sacred shrines.
It was alleged that the group removed the door to the church offices and replaced it with theirs and also mapped out construction plans on the land belonging to the church.
High Court judge, Justice Emilia Muchawa, ordered the respondents to stay off the church’s shrine without express consent from the current leadership.
“The first to eighth respondents be and hereby ordered not to visit the shrines of the church without the consent of the current leadership of the church. They are hereby ordered not to convene meetings of the African Apostolic Church, visit the first applicant’s shrines or places of worship or organise any event there. Pending return date, by consent of the parties, neither party shall undertake any construction works, improvements or other developments at the Guvambwa shrine,” read the judgement.