THE High Court has dismissed an appeal by some AFM Philadelphia Milton Park Assembly members over the ownership of the church building.
Itai Kennedy Pedzisai, Tafadzwa Mazhambe, and Tendai Masoti had approached the High Court seeking the reversal of a spoliation order that was granted to their opponents – Paul Hweru, a deacon, and other church members.
A spoliation order seeks to avoid people from taking the law into their hands.
Justice Neville Wamambo said the grounds of appeal were without merit.
He said the magistrate had not erred in his ruling and the spoliation order was correctly granted.
Justice Wamambo also cautioned against the trend of church disputes ending up in court and urged members to find amicable solutions to their differences.
Pedzisai and his colleagues submitted that the court had erred in granting the spoliation order to his opponents when they had failed to meet the requirements of the order.
Pedzisai and his colleagues also submitted that the court granted the order without first determining who had been using the building when the matter was taken to court.
It was said sometime in October 2021, Pedzisai, Mazhambe, and Masoti erected steel structures at the church doors to prevent other members from entering the building.
They told the court that the AFM Philadelphia Milton Park Assembly has been beset by internal wrangles and leadership disputes for several years, with factions fighting over control of the church’s assets and leadership positions.
They also claimed that the steel bars were for security reasons and not to restrain other members from entering.
Pedzisai and his colleagues claimed that their opponents had gone to court with dirty hands since they were the ones who locked the church doors.
The magistrates’ court had ruled that Pedzisai and his colleagues interfered with access to the church building by erecting the steel structures.
He ordered them to open the church entrance and not to interfere with access to the building again.– H METRO