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Crime & Courts

Supreme Court Ends Mwazha Church Leadership Wrangle As Son Loses Appeal




THE Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by Paul Mwazha’s son, Alfred who was seeking to nullify a High Court order that reinstated his father as the leader of the African Apostolic Church (Vapostori VeAfrica).

Supreme Court judges Justices Susan Mavangira, Tendai Uchena and George Chiweshe dismissed Alfred’s appeal ruling that Mwazha did not specifically name him as the successor.

“With regards to the second ground of appeal the court a quo ruled, correctly in our view, which the handwritten note presented to it in order to prove that the Archbishop (Mwazha) had chosen the first appellant as his successor was silent on the issue.

“The learned judge a quo analysed the text of this note and came to the inevitable conclusion that there was nothing in it which spoke to the nomination of anyone (let alone the first appellant) as the successor to the Archbishop.

“The learned Judge a quo cannot be faulted in that regard. For that reason, the second ground of appeal stands to be dismissed.” Justice Mavangira said in her judgment.

The judges said they agree with the appellants that clause 9.2.2 of the constitution can only be invoked in the event that the Archbishop is absent by apology, illness, or death.

The Supreme Court said without having made a finding as to the incapacity of Mwazha, the High Court judge had erred and misdirected himself in granting an order for the invocation of clause 9.2.2.



“For that reason, this is a case in which the appeal succeeds in part.”



Court papers show that Alfred had publicly announced himself as the successor to his father.

He purported to have taken over the reins of the church, jettisoning his aged and ailing father.

Ernest Mhambare, who is a reverend in the church, had approached High Court last year and sought to nullify the appointment, arguing that Alfred had attempted to usurp the position.

The application was granted by Justice Chitapi who ruled that Paul Mwazha would retain his position as the Archbishop, prompting Alfred and his brothers to file an appeal at the Supreme Court.

Robert Tapfumaneyi