There seems to be no end in sight to the factionalism that has dogged the Paul Mwazha-led Africa Apostolic Church (ACC) in recent years.
A group aligned to Mwazha’s last-born son is accusing the bloc led by the second-born son of breaching standing court orders.
The factions recently converged at the Odzi Mapembe Shrine for a Holy Communion gathering, with a Court Sheriff trying in vain to stop the proceedings.
The Mwazha church has split into two factions, with one group being led by the ageing Archbishop’s second-born son, Bishop Alfred Kushamisa Mwazha; while the other is led by the Archbishop’s youngest son, Bishop Tawanda Israel Mwazha.
Mwazha, popularly known as Mudzidzisi, turns 104 this year.
On 27 June 2022, the High Court granted an order against Bishop Alfred’s faction which recently gathered at the Mapembe Shrine. The order read in part:
It is ordered that the provisional order granted on the 11th May 2022 be and is hereby confirmed.
The first to eighth respondents and all those acting through them are hereby ordered not to visit the shrines of the first applicant without the consent of the current leadership of the church.
The first to eighth respondents and all those acting through them are hereby ordered not to convene meetings of the African Apostolic Church (Vapostora VeAfrica), visit the first applicant’s shrines or place of worship or organise any event there….
The eight respondents mentioned in the court order are Alfred Kushamisa Mwazha, Ngoni Edward Mwazha, James Mwazha, Richard Juru, Elson Tafa, Charles Tekeshe, Lovemore Mharadze and Norman Siyamuzhombwe.
The applicant is Ernest Mhambare, a member of the church who initiated the legal process on behalf of Bishop Tawanda’s faction.
Meanwhile, Bishop Alfred’s faction believes that their leader was anointed as his father’s successor on 28 February 2020.
According to The Manica Post, the church divisions go deeper than the leadership issue, with prayer methods also causing disharmony.
Long and personal prayers, widely known within the church as “tsindondi”, have been a source of disharmony, with a section of the church insisting on pre-written and recited prayers.
More: The Manica Post