Mugodhi sons want application dismissed

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THE late Tandewu Mugodhi’s sons Washington, Innocent and Enock, have approached the High Court seeking the dismissal of an application filed by a rival group led by Tonnie Sigauke, claiming he had abandoned the case by failing to file an answering affidavit in the case.

Sigauke and Mugodhi’s sons are embroiled in a leadership wrangle over the Wedza-headquartered church.
According to Washington’s founding affidavit, Sigauke sought to rely on a fake church constitution.

“The document relied on by the respondent as its constitution is not authentic for the mere reason that it states that it is an amendment of the 1952 constitution in its papers because none simply exists. An amendment to a non-existent constitution cannot become a valid constitution.

“Respondent did not establish the provisions on how the 1952 constitution could have been validly amended. An amendment can only be valid if the amendment procedures had been followed. An application stands or falls on its founding papers, the absence of the 1952 constitution and its provisions on how it could be amended is fatal to the application,” Washington said.

He said Sigauke does not refer to any resolution given to him by any board, council or authority within the church structure, conferring him with powers to take over the reins.

“The whole application constituted a shameless attempt to wrestle power from our late father, bishop Tandewu Mugodhi, by people who neither belong to the Mugodhi family nor are qualified to be in the leadership at the level of bishop.

“I believe that I have laid a strong basis for the gathering of the relief that applicant seeks in casu and I move the court to dismiss the court application under case number HC6734/19 for want of prosecution as same has clearly been abandoned,” he said.

Sigauke recently won a High Court order allowing him to take over the reins at the church, but has been barred from occupying the position by the sons and their followers.

According to the church, the situation deteriorated in February last year when Tandewu fell ill and was diagnosed with a terminal illness, which resulted in his death.

The church said as a result of the illness, the bishop was no longer able to perform his normal duties and was making fatal decisions which were affecting the church negatively.

On August 10, 2019, the ailing bishop is said to have called a meeting with the board of ministers together with their vice bishops and pastors, where he made a pronouncement that his son now held the office of vice bishop.

This did not go down well with the church which petitioned the court seeking to bar the bishop from making unilateral decisions.

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