The African Apostolic Church led by outspoken religious leader Paul Mwazha is pursuing a High Court order to effect the eviction of some suspected ruling Zanu PF youths who have allegedly constructed unsanctioned structures at the church’s shrine in Chitungwiza.
The church, represented by Andrew Ndongwe has since submitted an application before the High Court calling for the immediate eviction of the suspected Zanu PF youths who have occupied the church’s land at the behest of the Zanu PF Youth League.
The respondents in the matter include John Chinyanga and 13 others, Chitungwiza Town Clerk and Local Government minister July Moyo.
Since 2015, the Mwazha-led apostolic sect has been trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to remove the fourteen invaders who have since illegally occupied their Chitungwiza place of worship. In his founding affidavit, Ndongwe said the local authority’s apparent failure to evict the illegal settlers on the shrine has influenced the church’s decision to pursue the legal route and reclaim their property.
The long-drawn dispute, according to Ndongwe, has perennially scuttled intentions by the sect to construct a new church building at the invaded shrine.
“To this date the respondents have refused or neglected to leave the applicant’s property, this is hindering the applicant from resuming with construction on the said property. Having tried to exhaust all the remedies available to it, the applicant is left with no choice but to seek the legal route to have the 1st to 14th respondent evicted from its property,” submitted Ndongwe in the High Court application.
The application further claims that the fourteen alleged invaders occupied the land with the blessings of the Zanu PF Youth League. The court papers also indicate that in January 2019, the church was given an offer letter by the Government and that the African Apostolic Church was also in possession of an allocation letter and site plan.
On their part, the Church paid US$800 application fee.
Despite having all the prerequisite documentation for the disputed piece of land, the Church was shocked to see people constructing structures on the same property.
“The applicant was to buy the stand on a rent to buy basis (and) this resulted in the lease agreement which was entered into by the applicant and Chitungwiza Municipality. The illegal occupier stated that they had been allocated the land by Zanu PF Youth League,” wrote Ndongwe in his affidavit.
The long-protracted wrangle is yet to be heard before the court.