Mwazha’s son cited for contempt as battle rages on
By Fidelis Munyoro
The battle for the control of African Apostolic Church led Archbishop Paul Mwazha continues unrelenting as the court-recognised faction filed a motion for contempt against one of the leader’s sons, Alfred Kushamisa Mwazha, for holding a three-day pilgrimage at the church’s sacred shrine against a High Court order.
The church fronted by Reverend Ernest Mhambare have taken Alfred to court for holding the pilgrimage at Ndarikure shrine in Midlands in defiance of a High Court order that barred him from hosting the annual event.
This comes against the backdrop of the Supreme Court decision which settled the church’s succession dispute reinstating Archbishop Paul Mwazha as the leader of the African Apostolic Church.
In their application, Rev Mhambare and the church are seeking the court to declare Alfred and seven others to be in contempt of that court order and a subsequent High Court order.
In addition, the church wants Alfred and his co-respondents sentenced to three months’ civil imprisonment without the option of a fine, with the sentence suspended, on condition that they faithfully and dutifully comply with the order given in the Supreme Court and stop passing off the Alfred as leader of the church. They would also have to publish to the church and the world at large in two daily Newspapers that they have nullified any appointments made in their meeting on October 15 within 48 hours of the High Court granting the latest order.
“The suspended sentence of imprisonment in this order shall become effective, in the event that the first respondent (Alfred) continues to declare himself as leader of the church and the appointments and resolutions made by respondents are not nullified or retracted,” read part of the draft order.
The seven would be jailed for 90 days on a warrant of civil imprisonment issued by the court.
Alfred, also known as AK, is leading a rival faction which is seeking to wrestle control of the church from his father.
Last week Archbishop Mwazha’s other son, Chiseko Mwazha, along with one of the church’s bishops, Patrick Mahachi, successfully obtained a High Court order blocking the Alfred-led faction from hosting the pilgrimage.
High Court judge Justice Rogers Manyangadze granted the application by Chiseko noting that the church filed an ordinary court application seeking the nullification of the actions and composition of the Priesthood Council Meeting illegally and unprocedurally convened by Alfred and others which abrogated and usurped the power and authority of Archbishop Mwazha.
According to the churches’ constitution, Archbishop Mwazha is the permanent head of the church.
In the event of his death, the congregational priesthood, which comprises all his biological sons who are bishops in the church, shall preside, making decisions unanimously. The Herald