PROPHET BUSHIRI’S LO­CAL CHURCH FIRES PAS­TOR

Observer on Saturday - - Front Page - Sto­ries by Sandile Nkam­bule

In one of the rare oc­cur­rences in the his­tory of the coun­try, a church, its pas­tor and con­gre­gants are at each other’s throats over of­fer­ings (um­nikelo),

con­duct­ing of ser­vices and run­ning of the church.

So rare is the oc­cur­rence that the church has since filed an ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion at the High Court seek­ing an or­der in­ter­dict­ing the lo­cal pas­tor, Malaw­ian born Eric Ku­sani and oth­ers from col­lect­ing of­fer­ing, or­gan­is­ing church ser­vices and col­lect­ing tithes from con­gre­gants.

Prophet Shep­herd Bushiri’s church Swazi­land branch, the En­light­ened Chris­tian Gather­ing, has taken its lo­cal Pas­tor Eric Ku­sani and 18 oth­ers to court where the church is seek­ing an in­ter­dict against them in as far as col­lect­ing of­fer­ings and run­ning the in­sti­tu­tion is con­cerned.

The mat­ter yes­ter­day ap­peared on a cer­tifi­cate of ur­gency be­fore High Court Judge Nkosi­nathi Maseko and rep­re­sent­ing the church is lawyer Mx­olisi Dlamini from Robin­son Ber­tram At­tor­neys while Ku­sani and the rest of the re­spon­dents are rep­re­sented by senior at­tor­ney Sidumo Md­ladla.

Ac­cord­ing to Sa­muke­lisiwe Peter­son ,one of the church el­ders cited as di­rec­tors in her pa­pers filed at the High Court, Pas­tor Ku­sani and the 18 oth­ers are now hold­ing them­selves as di­rec­tors of the church and in the process are or­gan­is­ing church ser­vices, col­lect­ing of­fer­ings and tithes from brethren in to­tal con­tra­ven­tion of the es­tab­lish­ing doc­u­ments of the church.

Ac­cord­ing to Peter­son, Pas­tor Ku­sani and the 18 are col­lect­ing the of­fer­ings and tithes and il­le­gally and de­posit­ing same to the per­sonal ac­count of Nom­phumelelo Kunene, who is the 11th re­spon­dent in the mat­ter.

Peter­son stated in her pa­pers that the church has its own bank ac­count held with Stan­dard Bank Swazi­land and Pas­tor Ku­sani and 18 oth­ers are not de­posit­ing the money and/or of­fer­ings and tithes of the church in the church’s ac­count but to the per­sonal bank ac­count of Kunene.

Con­duct

“I am re­li­ably in­formed that funds are then with­drawn and mis­ap­pro­pri­ated by the re­spon­dents in breach of the ap­pli­cant’s (church) es­tab­lish­ing doc­u­ments. We have tried to en­gage the re­spon­dents to de­sist from the un­law­ful con­duct and they have re­fused to meet us and are un­touch­able as they are law unto them­selves, hence we have ap­proached this court for re­dress,” Peter­son stated.

She fur­ther al­leges that Pas­tor Ku­sani and the rest of the re­spon­dents are not in any­way di­rec­tors of the church as it ap­pears from the es­tab­lish­ing doc­u­ments and, there­fore, they have no right to preach, or­gan­ise church ser­vices, col­lect of­fer­ings and hold them­selves as di­rec­tors of the church.

In fact, Peter­son stated in her pa­pers that Pas­tor Ku­sani and the rest of the re­spon­dents are in­ter­fer­ing with the right of the right­ful di­rec­tors of the church to man­age the op­er­a­tions of the church to the great prej­u­dice of the law­ful di­rec­tors who are an­swer­able to the church mem­bers.

The mat­ter has been post­poned to Novem­ber 16, as both coun­sel are yet to file their pa­pers be­fore court.

LE­GAL BAT­TLES: The re­spon­dents and other church mem­bers packed court B as they came for the case.

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