THE GOSPEL OF GOD CHURCH INTERNATIONAL 1932.
HIGH COURT OF ZIMBABWE
HARARE, 16 November 2009 and 14 July 2010
J Samukange, for the applicant
C Daitai, for the respondents
BHUNU J: The applicant is a church organisation styled The Church of God International 1932 represented by its secretary general one Zeburon Pedzisai Nengomasha. On the other hand the respondents are alleged to be board members of a rival breakaway rebel church organisation also operating under the style of Gospel of God International.
The parties are engaged in a bitter legal battle over their entitlement to the religious shrine at Gandanzara and other church properties. In consequence whereof, the applicant instituted legal proceedings in this court under case number HC 4101/09, on 8 September 2009. In that application it was seeking to interdict the respondents from using its name, visiting its shrine at Gandanzara and from occupying or possessing its property
On 21 September the respondents filed their notice of opposition and counterclaim. The respondents subsequently obtained a default judgment against the applicants from MAKONI J on 28 October 2009 in the following terms:
“IT IS ORDERED THAT:
- The respondents be and are hereby declared to have a right to peacefully visit and worship at the shrine.
- Sister Dazi Dhliwayo be and is hereby declared the lawful president.
- All church members who recognize Era Tapera as the president including Zeburon Pedzisai Nengomasha be and are hereby ordered not to unlawfully prohibit the respondents and other church members from visiting and worshiping at the shrine.
- All the applicants’ purported office bearers listed in the application be and are hereby ordered to maintain peace towards the respondents.
- Each party to meet its own costs.”
The applicant has now lodged a spirited urgent application for a provisional order for stay of execution of the above order pending the determination of the application for rescission of judgment under case number HC 5403/09.
The application is vigorously opposed with the respondents raising the preliminary point that the matter is not urgent. I tend to agree with the applicants’ objectioninlimine. Indeed I can perceive nothing objectionable in MAKONI J’s default order warranting that it be stayed as a matter of urgency. The order simply requires the parties to peacefully co-exist and share the shrine which they previously used together. The order is lawful and binding until it is set aside.
If the applicant feels quite strongly that the issue ought to be expedited it can request the registrar to quickly set down the application for rescission of judgment under case number HC 5403/09. .
For the foregoing reasons I hold that the matter is not urgent. It is accordingly ordered that the application be and is hereby dismissed with costs.
Venturas & Samukange, applicant’s legal practitioners
Magwaliba & Kwirira,respondents legal practitioners