AN Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) member entangled in a leadership wrangle at Bulawayo based church yesterday denied allegations he claimed to be a member of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) to intimidate his rivals.
Claudious Manamela, one of the applicants seeking a protection order against AFM president Tony Tshuma and 40 others, told Western Commonage Court magistrate Temba Chimiso that the allegations were a fabrication by his rivals.
A state witness Silvernos Ncube (62) had earlier told the court that Manamela had said he was a member of the CIO. Ncube said this traumatised him to a point of becoming ill “thinking that our pastor will be made to disappear and the church premises closed.”
“When I arrived at the church office I noticed that there were people in pastor Patson Magalia’s office. These were pastor Herbert Yalala, accused (Manamela) and others,” he said.
“After taking a seat I was advised that the accused was called Chauke who would assist us with the drafting of the church constitution.
“I asked the accused who he was and he told me that he worked for the president’s office and that he was a Criminal Investigations Department detective.”
Ncube said Manamela told them the infighting in the church had been brought to President Robert Mugabe’s attention.
“He further said that an instruction that people should disappear had been made. He said since he knew Yalala he would advise him to leave and cross the border,” he said.
“He said he was giving us an ultimatum of two weeks to solve the issues in the church.”
Prosecutor Michelle Chiboiwa said Manamela of New Magwegwe, in February this year allegedly approached Yalala at the church office in Lobengula and accused him and others of unconstitutionally removing some ministers from their posts.
He allegedly said he was a member of the CIO and threatened to call anti-riot police to beat them up or make Yalala and his group to disappear. But Tungamirai Nyengera, representing Manamela, said Ncube and his colleagues had connived to fabricate allegations against his client.
Nyengera said his client went to the church offices with friends to seek clarification on the issue of an illegal constitution that was crafted by Tshuma, and denied charges he masqueraded as a CIO agent.