The local authority accuses the apostolic sect of violating the city’s by-laws by engaging in open-air worshipping in undesignated places.

… as battle for Mugodhi apostolic church rages on

MUGODHI Apostolic Faith Church founder Tadewu Mugodhi’s son, Washington, has approached the High Court seeking an order barring 36 expelled members from meddling with the affairs of the church at its headquarters in Hwedza.

Washington, who is the second applicant in the application, told the court that he was appointed by his late father two years ago to lead the church.

“The first applicant is a church that was founded and built by the Mugodhi family, headquartered in Chitongo Village in Hwedza. By way of succession … the second applicant was appointed and came to be the effective bishop of the first applicant. It must be highlighted at this point that this appointment was done in accordance with church canons.

“The second applicant has further been confirmed as the substantive bishop by several court orders and judgments … Meanwhile, some disgruntled members who are the named respondents in this application have led to despondence, chaos and violent clashes at various branches of the first applicant and form the cause of the application before court,” the court heard.

Washington further told the court that he was appointed the church’s vice bishop in August 2019, by his late father before assuming the substantive leadership of the church.

“The late bishop made a further pronouncement as he was perfectly empowered by the canons of the church to say that the second applicant was now being appointed to be the acting bishop owing to the ill-health of Tadewu,” he said.

He, however, said the expelled church members were not happy with the decision and sought to have it overturned through open rebellious actions.

“The decision made by the respondents to openly rebel against the authority of bishop Tadewu constituted a non-compliance to continue under the leadership, discipline and authority of the first applicant. They purported to have appointed their own bishop despite not having any authority to do so.

“At law the conduct of its rebellious group constituted schism, which resulted in them creating a different leadership and church along the then subsisting leadership and authority of bishop Tadewu,” Washington further said.

The 36 are still to respond to the application.