Some former members of the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) in Zimbabwe attempted to invade the Glaudina Assembly on Sunday and were thwarted by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).
Former church members aligned to former president Reverend Cossum Chiangwa reportedly besieged the church premises before the Sunday service and clashed with congregants loyal to Reverend Amon Madawo.
Police attended the scene and dispersed Chiangwa’s loyalists leaving resident Pastor Kunaka to conduct the service.
One of the church security officers told H-Metro that no one was injured during the clash. He said:
We found the losing faction members already by the premises and we had a misunderstanding until police detail came.
They wanted to disturb our church service but the coming in of police officers helped much in resolving the differences.
They left and no one was injured or arrested and we carried on with our service.
Meanwhile, police officers manned Dzivaresekwa AFM Assembly and no service was conducted as leaders were urging people to return home and come next Sunday.
This comes after the AFM secretariat sent a circular message signed by the Overseer to various assemblies on Saturday urging people to tighten security ahead of Sunday church service expecting the losing faction to disturb their services.
According to The Sunday Mail, the battle to control AFM started in 2018 and has played out in the public for the past three years.
It resulted in the emergence of two rival camps, one led by Madawo and the other by Chiangwa.
The dispute between the two camps spilt into the Supreme Court after a group led by Chiangwa filed an appeal against a High Court order which gave Madawo’s faction blessings to lead the church.
The row over control of the church and its assets was sparked by the church’s council meeting held at Rufaro, Masvingo in 2018.
The meeting, as part of its resolutions, passed a vote of no confidence on the president of the church Reverend Aspher Madziyire.
The results of the council meeting saw leaders of both factions taking the matter to court.