Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) in Zimbabwe president Aspher Madziyire and 27 other church leaders have been taken to the High Court by an elder who is seeking the nullification of Madziyire’s election as head of the church.
The church elder, Chitimire Brian Tenias, who issued summons against the church and its reverends, said he was a full member of the congregation and as such he was entitled to sue the church and pastors for the benefit of the proper administration of the church.
According to Tenias, Madziyire’s appointment or election into the office of the president of AFM was done in violation of the church’s constitution.
Madziyire, on January 31 this year, said the 27 reverends whom he cited as respondent’s allegedly convened a meeting not authorised by AFM’s constitution during which time they elected Madziyire as president.
“The aforesaid purported election of the 2nd defendant (Madziyire) as president of the 1st defendant (AFM) is unlawful, null and void as being contrary to the constitution of the 1st defendant,” Tenias said. The church elder also claims the pastors’ gathering that conducted the election ushering Madziyire into office was not AFM’s workers’ council as provided for in the church’s constitution.
“The 2nd to the 27th defendants (reverends) made their own rules and invited other unqualified delegates for the purported election contrary to the requirements of the 1st defendant’s constitution,” Tenias said.
“The plaintiff (Tenias) and other members of the 1st defendant’s workers’ council were not invited to the meeting yet in terms of the constitution of the 1st defendant, it is the workers’ council that constitutes the electoral college for the election of the president.”
The church elder also claims each of the 27 pastors were participating in activities that were contrary to AFM’s constitution and thus he was seeking an interdict barring them from acting outside the confines of the constitution.
“Each of them (pastors) being purportedly elected to a position in the apostolic council of the 1st defendant contrary to the requirements set out in the constitution of the 1st defendant,” the elder said.
He added: “Using rules and regulations that are not part of the constitution of the 1st defendant and claiming that those rules are part of the constitution when they are not.”
AFM, Madziyire and the 27 pastors have since entered an appearance to defend notice and the matter is still pending.