PROPHET BUSHIRI’S LOCAL CHURCH FIRES PASTOR
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.
“I am reliably informed that funds are then withdrawn and misappropriated by the respondents in breach of the applicant’s (church) establishing documents.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.