THE ruling in the application for a peace order by five disgruntled members of the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) of Africa against its overseer reverend Tony Tshuma (90) and 40 others is set to be made at the Western Commonage Court tomorrow.
This followed last week’s High Court order compelling Tshuma not to expel or demote members challenging his authority.
The matter was heard by Western Commonage Court magistrate Tancy Dube who had previously recused herself without giving reasons.
Dube remanded the case to June 5 for ruling after Tshuma’s lawyer Walter Nyabadza tried to contest why the case was brought to the same magistrate who had earlier recused herself.
In their submissions, the disgruntled members indicated that it was paramount that they be granted an order compelling Tshuma and his faction to stop harassing or perpetuating violence against them.
One of the peace order applicants, Mike Moyo, yesterday said Nyabadza had attempted to block their application for a peace order by hiding behind the pending High Court case, but now that the High Court had ruled in their favour, it was necessary for the Magistrates’ Court to deal with their application.
“Nyabadza had tried to block our application saying there is a pending High Court case which in fact, concerned the leadership and the constitution of the church,” Moyo said.
“Besides that, he failed to realise that though there was a pending High Court case, we as church members needed freedom of worship at the church. Now that the High Court has ruled in our favour, we are waiting for the ruling on our peace order application.”
In the High Court case the church headquartered in Lobengula was being challenged by reverend Clement Nyathi and other disgruntled church ministers who filed an application challenging Tshuma’s authority and accusing him of having imposed himself as head of the flock.
After hearing the arguments of both parties last Tuesday, judge Justice Maxwell Takuva first reserved judgment but subsequently delivered it barring Tshuma and his ministers from making church decisions which involve disputes before the court.