By Chengetai Zvauya
Popular preacher Emmanuel Makandiwa yesterday won a High Court reprieve to continue constructing a church in Chitungwiza when Justice Tedius Karwi ruled that an application challenging the construction was not urgent.
MDC chairman for Chitungwiza Alexio Musundire and some Zengeza residents had sought the High Court’s intervention claiming that council flouted the Urban Councils Act in allocating the stands to UFI.
MDC chairman for Chitungwiza province Alexio Musundire has roped in the Anti-Corruption Commission in a bid to stop Emmanuel Makandiwa from constructing a church whose land he claims was “corruptly” acquired. John Mugogo of Gunje and Chasakara, who was representing Musundire, confirmed that their application was dismissed.
“The judge ruled that the matter is not urgent and it shall proceed as an ordinary application but he did not dismiss the merits of the case, ’’said Mugogo after the ruling. Makandiwa is one of the hottest preachers in the country and commands a huge following among parishioners.
His main service is held at the City Sports Centre but has since embarked on spreading his ministry via satellite centres while building the church in Chitungwiza.
The gifted preacher has had to fight “temptations and the devil” flighted by his adversaries which included probes by police and the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) on his spiritual mobile service initiative.
This stemmed from the launch of his spiritual card which the regulator said then was in contravention of some of its sections on telecommunications. His followers claim that agents of doom and darkness are after his “spiritual power” which is helping save souls in the country.
Now, Musundire wants the Anti-Corruption Commission to probe Chitungwiza Municipality and the popular preacher who is building a vast church with a capacity of 30 000 people in Zengeza East.
The latest assault, involving CID Serious Frauds division which could scuttle the construction of the gigantic building, is seen as the work of Makandiwa’s enemies who reportedly want to destroy him because of his popularity.
Musundire claims the land was not meant for church development but for a hotel and stadium but was acquired through “clandestine” means from the Chitungwiza Municipality.
“This land was sold for a sum around one hundred thousand dollars (US$100 000) and the council only got US$500. Stand Numbers 17750-17772 were fraudulently sold and the money pocketed by the town clerk and some councillors,” said Musundire in letter of complaint to the Anti-Corruption Commission.
The matter has been reported to ZRP Criminal Investigations Department Serious Fraud Squads. Officer Commanding Serious Frauds assistant commissioner Mangoma confirmed that police were in possession of the receipt of Musundire’s report.
“We acknowledge receipt of your report on 28-10-2011 pertaining the above case of corruption. Be advised that the matter is receiving due attention and you will be advised of any developments in due course,’’ said Mangoma in reply to Musundire. Musundire says he is acting on behalf of Zengeza residents who have approached him to help stop the construction of the church.
Chitungwiza Municipality is being accused of acting “corruptly” in awarding the land to UFI who have continued building the church. But followers of Makandiwa insist that it is the devil at work. Musundire is also accusing Chitungwiza Municipality of undervaluing stands. Daily News
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