The High Court has struck off the roll application by the widow of Christ Ministries Church founder Cuthbert Makoni seeking control of one of the first indigenous churches post-independence.
Reverend Leddie Makoni is entangled in an acrimonious wrangle with her son, Colin Zonda Makoni ,over control of the church she co-founded with he late husband.
She sued her son and the Registrar General of Marriages seeking an order declaring her appointment as the president of the CMC lawful and constitutional. But Justice Jacob Manzunzu struck the matter off the roll of urgent matters, finding that Leddie had no authority to bring such an application on behalf of the church, without consulting the executive committee and her position as the head of the church was under challenge in court.
“The second applicant (Leddie) failed to prove that she has been authorised by the first applicant (CMC) to institute these proceedings. Her position as president of the first applicant is under challenge and she cannot act as such until a determination is made by the court,” he said.
It was the court’s finding that the church’s constitution was clear, that apart from giving the president the right to make unilateral decisions in some instances, it did not expressly empower the president to unilaterally institute proceedings on behalf of the church without consulting the executive.
In her application, Leddie wanted the court to grant her declaratory order and interdict that endorsed her as the church’s president. It was her contention that she had been appointed in terms of the church’s amended 1992 constitution through her husband’s last will and testament hence claimed to be the authentic leader. Arguing the matter for Collin, Professor Lovemore Madhuku said Leddie had no authority over the control of the church given the fact that the dispute should be resolved in line with the church’s 1984 constitution.
He raised preliminary points which the court upheld to defeat the relief sought, without hearing the arguments on the merit.
Bishop Makoni died in December 2017 and his surviving spouse Leddie took over control of the church which also runs lucrative businesses including private schools, social welfare and medical services. -Herald