Re­prieve for AFM leader, over­seers

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Daniel Ne­mukuyu Se­nior Court Re­porter

AFM pres­i­dent Aspher Madziyire and his team of 32 over­seers will con­tinue run­ning the af­fairs of the church after the High Court dis­missed an ur­gent in­ter­dict ap­pli­ca­tion by a dis­grun­tled pas­tor to bar them from op­er­at­ing.

Pas­tor Ke­fias Mu­jok­eri, who is sta­tioned at AFM’s Shalom Re­vival Cen­tre in Kadoma, wanted the church’s pres­i­dent and his ex­ec­u­tive to step down and call for an elec­tion to se­lect the new lead­er­ship.

He ar­gued that the ex­ec­u­tive had over­stayed be­cause their three-year ten­ure had since ex­pired.

How­ever, Jus­tice Amy Tsanga ruled that the ap­pli­ca­tion lacked ur­gency be­fore or­der­ing its re­moval from the ur­gent court roll. This means, Pas­tor Mud­zok­eri can still pur­sue his case through a nor­mal court ap­pli­ca­tion.

Pas­tor Madziyire, who is the pres­i­dent of the church, to­gether with 32 over­seers head­ing AFM’s prov­inces, were elected into of­fice in March 2015 and their ten­ure has since ex­pired.

How­ever, it was ar­gued that the lead­er­ship had gone for more than a month il­le­gally run­ning the church with­out hold­ing elec­tions.

Harare lawyer Mr Joshua Chi­rambwe of Law­man Chimuriwo Law Cham­bers filed the ur­gent cham­ber ap­pli­ca­tion on be­half of Pas­tor Mud­zok­eri.

The ap­pli­ca­tion sought to com­pel Pas­tor Madziyire to ur­gently pro­claim the elec­tion date for the pro­vin­cial and apos­tolic coun­cil.

Pas­tor Mu­jok­eri stated in his pa­pers that Pas­tor Madziyire was cling­ing on to power and he must be or­dered to, forth­with, stop hold­ing him­self out as the church’s pres­i­dent pend­ing the hold­ing of the elec­tion.

Pas­tor Madziyire, ac­cord­ing to the court pa­pers, was firstly elected as pres­i­dent in March 2003 be­fore be­ing re-elected for a fur­ther three year-term in March 2015.

How­ever, the church is re­port­edly di­vided over ear­lier at­tempts by some mem­bers to push for the amend­ment of the con­sti­tu­tion, to ac­com­mo­date some of the age­ing out­go­ing lead­er­ship.

Pas­tor Mu­jok­eri said at­tempts were made to amend the con­sti­tu­tion to al­low pas­tors to con­test for the posts de­spite reach­ing the manda­tory re­tire­ment age of 65.

Since April this year, Pas­tor Mu­jok­eri ar­gued, the lead­er­ship led by Pas­tor Madziyire had been op­er­at­ing il­le­gally.

Pas­tor Mu­jok­eri said the lead­er­ship, that he refers to as “past” lead­er­ship, was op­er­at­ing in vi­o­la­tion of the church’s con­sti­tu­tion.

The said past lead­er­ship is also be­ing ac­cused of threat­en­ing those push­ing for an elec­tion with dis­ci­plinary ac­tion.

It was ar­gued that the AFM was op­er­at­ing with­out le­git­i­mate lead­er­ship and that the elec­tion was re­quired as a mat­ter of ur­gency.

“As it stands, I, as a pas­tor and mem­ber of the first re­spon­dent, no longer have a le­git­i­mate lead­er­ship and we can­not con­tinue to ef­fi­ciently carry out our du­ties.

“I risk be­ing ex­posed to le­gal suits for con­duct­ing my du­ties in the ab­sence of a le­git­i­mate pres­i­dent who has the ul­ti­mate au­thor­ity and man­date to con­duct church busi­ness.

“The man­date to su­per­vise, man­age and rep­re­sent the church is thrust upon the pres­i­dent and over­seers, such that the church is now ham­strung in its op­er­a­tions. All of­fices of sig­na­to­ries to ac­counts and other ad­min­is­tra­tive func­tions have ex­pired,” he said.

Pas­tor Madziyire

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