By A Correspondent | In a disturbing turn of events, the ongoing leadership dispute within the Christ Ministries church has escalated to religious violence, leading to the intervention of the authorities. The matter, initially presented in the High Court of Zimbabwe between Leddie Makoni and Colin Zondai Makoni, took an unexpected twist when the High Court Judge, the honorable Jacob Manzunzu, ruled that the applicant, Leddie Makoni, had no authority to represent the church.
The verdict delivered by Judge Manzunzu left the future of Christ Ministries in a state of uncertainty. Following the ruling, Leddie Makoni promptly filed an appeal against the entire judgment in hopes of overturning the decision. However, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, leaving the High Court ruling intact.
Despite the clear judgment from the Supreme Court, the appellant, Leddie Makoni, has failed to comply with the court’s decision. The situation has further deteriorated as reports indicate that religious violence erupted within the Christ Ministries community on January 1, 2023. The severity of the situation necessitated the involvement of a reaction squad to restore law and order.
A video recording capturing the distressing scenes of religious violence was uploaded online, rapidly gaining viral attention. The footage portrays a divided congregation engaged in physical altercations, highlighting the volatile state of affairs within the church. The alarming incident has raised concerns among the general public, highlighting the potential dangers associated with unresolved disputes within religious institutions.
In response to the escalating situation and the failure to comply with the Supreme Court judgment, there are indications that the affected party may file a petition for contempt of court. Such a move would seek legal consequences against the party who defied the court’s order, adding another layer of complexity to an already tense situation.
As the Christ Ministries church leadership wrangle continues to unfold, it is evident that the division within the congregation remains unresolved. The consequences of this power struggle extend beyond the immediate parties involved, impacting the church’s reputation and the well-being of its members.
The significance of this case goes beyond the boundaries of a religious institution, emphasizing the importance of upholding the rule of law and respecting judicial decisions. The continued defiance of the Supreme Court judgment not only perpetuates the conflict but also sets a dangerous precedent for future disputes within Zimbabwean society.
The authorities, community leaders, and members of the Christ Ministries congregation are now faced with the urgent task of finding a peaceful and equitable resolution to this protracted conflict. The hopes for reconciliation and healing within the church are contingent upon the willingness of all parties involved to prioritize dialogue and abide by the rule of law.
It remains to be seen how the situation will progress in the coming days.
Meanwhile, a letter written by Zondai Collin Makoni concluded saying the church is not a court of law but a house of God. It read:
“The statement by Mr. Nkomo that the lawyers of the appellants commenced the process of reinstating the appeal is an admission that they lost the case. Ignorance is no defence in court. And he and his client must concede defeat with dignity. We, as the lawyers of the appellants, have commenced the process of reinstating the appeal and clarifying the procedural irregularity in question in terms of the law. [116 MAY 2023 ARTICLE 5 OUTCOME OF COURT PROCEEDINGS; SC392/21 DNM ATTORNEYS] The statement by Mr. Nkomo ensuring all church members and stake holders that the church remains under the leadership of Dr. Leddie Makoni is in defiance of the high court’s ruling that he has no authority to represent Christ Ministries Church and is meant to incite church members to seize power in the church through illegal and unconstitutional means. Our learned friend must be held accountable for inciting church members to defy the high court and Supreme Court orders. According to Mr. Nkomo, “We would like to ensure all church members and stake holders that the church remains under the leadership of Dr. Leddie Makoni. You should not be unsettled by the baseless miscommunication being circulated by CZ and his sympathisers. Such communication has no basis in law.” [16 MAY 2023, ARTICLE 6 OUTCOME OF COURT PROCEEDINGS; SC392/21 DNM ATTORNEYS] The statement by Mr. Nkomo that he will be giving the church leadership constant updates as the matter proceeds is tantamount to interference in the internal affairs of Christ Ministries Church.
“We don’t know who made our learned friend an expert on how we should run our church organisation. The church is not a court of law but a house of God. We shall be giving the church leadership constant updates as the matter proceeds. [116 MAY 2023 ARTICLE 7 OUTCOME OF COURT PROCEEDINGS; SC392/21 DNM ATTORNEYS] “