Former bishops and the secretariat of the African Apostolic Church (Vapostora VeAfrica) have been barred from visiting the church’s shrine in Chivhu without the authority of the current leadership.
In an urgent chamber application made by the church in January this year, through its board of trustees, vice-chairperson Patrick Mahachi and Ernest Mhambare, who is the second applicant, the church alleged that the former members invaded their place of worship in Chivhu known as Guvambwa.
Upon invading one of the church’s most sacred shrines, the respondents allegedly changed windows and put a new door to the church offices. They also mapped out construction plans on the land belonging to the church.
A former bishop, Alfred Mwazha, however, issued a notice of opposition on February 3, dismissing the urgent chamber application saying it was based on falsehoods.
He said the respondents have not been to the Guvambwa shrine this year and there is no construction as alleged adding that “there’s no plan whatsoever for the respondent to engage in the alleged construction works.”
High Court judge Justice Emilia Muchawa ordered the respondents to stay off the church’s shrine. Read the judgment:
The first to eighth respondents be, and hereby ordered not to visit the shrines of the first applicant, without the consent of the current leadership of the church… are hereby ordered not to convene meetings of the African Apostolic Church or 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.
The respondents from first to eighth are Alfred Kushamisa Mwazha, Ngoni Edward Mwazha (a former bishop), James Mwazha, Richard Juru (former general secretary), Elson Tafa, Charles Tekeshe, Lovemore Mharadze and Norman Siyamuzhombwe.