By Mary Taruvinga
THE High Court has banned the sons of Paul Mwazha and other former leaders of the African Apostolic Church (Vapostora VeAfrica) from visiting the church sanctuary as the leadership dispute takes center stage.
Founded by Paul Mwazha, senior members of the church are currently in friction over the formation of a splinter faction.
The power struggles began after Mwazha’s son Alfred publicly announced himself as his father’s successor.
He claimed to have taken over the reins of the church, dumping his elderly and ailing father.
Ernest Mhambare, who is a reverend in the church, then went to court to seek the quashing of the appointment, arguing that Alfred had tried to usurp the post.
The request was granted by Judge Chitapi, who ruled that Paul Mwazha would retain his post as archbishop, fueling the power struggle, with Alfred teaming up with his brothers and their allies.
Last year, the case leaked to the Supreme Court, which reinstated the church founder as leader.
However, the battle did not end.
Mhambare again sued Mwazha’s sons and other members for defying the Supreme Court order.
Mwazha’s sons Alfred, Ngoni, Masimba and James Mwazha as well as Richard Juru, Elson Tafa, Charles Tekeshe, Lovemore Mharadze and Norman Siyamuzhombwa are still accused of causing havoc.
They are the alleged culprits in the present application filed earlier this year through the vice chairman of the church board, Patrick Mahachi.
Mahachi said the gang invaded the church shrine, known as Guvambwa, in Chivhu.
The new faction has also been accused of vandalizing property at the church’s holiest shrines.
It was alleged that the group removed the door to the church offices and replaced it with their own and also laid out building plans on land owned by the church.
High Court Judge Emilia Muchawa ordered the respondents to stay away from the church sanctuary without the express consent of the current rulers.
“The first through eighth defendants shall be and hereby ordered not to visit church shrines without the consent of the current leadership of the church. They are prohibited from calling meetings of the African Apostolic Church, to visit the shrines or places of worship of the first applicant or to organize any event there. Pending the return date, with the consent of the parties, neither party will undertake any construction, improvement or further developments at Guvambwa Shrine,” the judgment read.