AFM Factionalism, Pastor Up For Theft
The ongoing Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe wrangle has landed Shekina Glory Assembly pastor, from Cossam Chiangwa-faction, in court.
He is facing contempt of court and theft charges. The man of the cloth, Blessing Saziya, 33, pleaded not guilty when he appeared before Harare magistrate Yeukai Nzuda.
The State, represented by Wishes Nziradzemhuka, alleges that in 2017, there were some internal fights in the church which ended in litigation. On September 4 last year, the High Court issued an order, which among other things prohibited Saziya and the rest of the Chiangwa faction from using the church’s assets, disrupting the functions, duties or the activities of Aspher Madziyire’s followers by themselves or through any third parties.
It was Saziya’s obligation to abide by that court order, but on September 15, he went to the church, which was now being headed by the complainant, Phanuel Mudada a follower of Madziyire, with a group of youths in a truck, and took building material.
The property taken included roofing beams, roofing poles, iron sheets, sheet nails, and termite poison meant for construction purposes, and went away.
Mudada consequently failed to have their church service as a result of his conduct. The State led evidence from Mudada’s wife Aloisia, who testified that she witnessed Saziya stealing the church property, but didn’t make an inquiry as to why he was taking away the materials.
She further testified that she then called Doreen Katiyo, who also testified, to record a video of Saziya taking away the property. In his defense, Saziya said he never failed to comply with any court order or stole property which belonged to the church, and attributed the charges to Mudada, who is taking church politics personally.
The matter was postponed to January 28 for judgment.
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