Scores Injured In Fight Over Church Shrine1 year ago
Several people were reportedly injured on Friday during clashes at Mugodhi Apostolic Faith Church headquarters in Wedza, Mashonaland East.
Two factions emerged in the sect following the death of the leader and founder Thadeu Mugodhi in 2019 and the two camps have been fighting for the control of the church.
In 2019, one Tonny Sigauke claimed to be the rightful successor to Mugodhi, citing the church’s constitution.
He sought the intervention of the courts to bar Mugodhi’s son Washington from taking over control of the sect.
Sigauke also filed another application stating that one Aaron Munodawafa was the substantive bishop of the church with him as the deputy.
Are you a Civil Servant or Pensioner in Zimbabwe?
Get a smartphone 📱 on Zero Deposit. 24 hours to process.
In September 2021, High Court judge Justice Esther Muremba ruled Sigauke did not have authority to represent the church.
She also nullified Washington’s appointment as the new leader of the church.
Since then, Washington and Munodawafa have been fighting for control over the sect.
Both camps were recently given access to the church buildings pending a court outcome on the legitimate leader of the shrine.
The spokesperson of the Munodawafa camp, Reverend Mike Mukarati told The Standard that clashes erupted on Friday after they were denied access to the church building to conduct morning prayers. He said:
We gathered together as a group and moved to enter the building.
They hired hooligans, some with dreadlocks calling themselves security from Washington’s camp and denied us access.
Suddenly, they started throwing stones, sharp objects and logs into a crowded congregation injuring more than 20, some seriously.
We retreated when we realised there were bound to be fatalities.
Police arrived 30 minutes later and statements were taken and the injured were rushed to St Mary’s hospital in Wedza.
A few months ago, violent clashes erupted at the same shrine pitting one faction against the other.
The violent clashes occurred during a gathering known as Synod resulting in malicious damage to property including the church building.
Police arrested more than 15 congregants and charged them with assault among other charges.