Rev Cossam Chiangwa

Reverend Cossam Chiangwa is a Zimbabwean pastor and a leader of a faction of the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe (AFM).

Chiangwa and Bishop Aspher Madziyire have been involved in a court battle over the control of the AFM Church and its properties since 2018.

Fight For Control Of AFM

Chiangwa and Madziyire went their separate ways with each of them commanding their followers in the church following last September 2018's church council meeting, which passed a vote of no confidence on Chiangwa.

In August 2019, the Apostolic Faith Mission International (AFMI) invited only Madawo to a conference held at Kenyatta University. Reports claim that Chiangwa regardless of not being invited travelled for the conference but was stopped from attending meetings.[1]

On 4 September 2019, the High Court declared Madziyire as the bona fide leader of the AFM Church.

High Court judge Justice David Mangota barred Chiangwa and his followers from using the name of the church when conducting their activities without authorisation from Madziyire’s faction.

Mangota ruled that Amon Madawo who was backed by immediate past president Aspher Madziyire is the legitimate leader of the church. Justice Mangota also ruled that Chiangwa’s group must reverse everything they did, return everything they took and must stop presenting themselves as the leadership of the church.[2][3]

In September 2019, Chiangwa and his followers — Amon Chinyemba, Nathan Nhira, Shepherd Sebata, Donald Ndoni, Arthur Nhamburo and M. Mashumba filed a notice of appeal against the High Court decision.

In the notice of appeal, Chiangwa and his followers wanted Bishop Madziyire and his group to return all the AFM assets in their possession.

They also wanted the faction led by Bishop Madziyire to stop using the church’s name when conducting their business.

Chiangwa’s group argued that the High Court made a mistake by failing to find that the adoption of a new church constitution by Bishop Madziyire and his followers on September 15, 2018, was unprocedural. They argued that it was not in accordance with provisions of the AFM’s constitution.

Madziyire was cited as a respondent along with Munyaradzi Shumba, Tawanda Nyambirai, Clever Mupakaidzwa, Briton Tembo and Christopher Chemhuru.

Chiangwa and his followers contend that the High Court erred in failing to find that Bishop Madziyire and his followers had “seceded from the church” after adopting a new constitution for the church without following due process.[4]

In June 2020, the Supreme Court reserved judgment on Chiangwa's appeal.[5]

On 28 May 2021, the Supreme Court ordered Cossam Chiangwa and his AFM faction to return all the properties to the church led by Madawo. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal and ordered Chiangwa to pay the cost of the suit.[6]

Car Accident

On 15 January 2020, Cossam Chiangwa was involved in a car accident along Golden Stairs Road in Mt Pleasant.

Chiangwa was behind the wheel on his way home in a Mercedes Benz when one of his car’s rear wheels dislocated. He was quick to suspect his enemies suggesting they loosened the wheel nuts in order to either attack or cause a serious accident. He said:

“This is not my first time to experience such mishaps. Some of the people who were after my life (did this) but God fought them in another way against their actions. They came to testify before me unaware that I am just God’s servant. Handinei navo ini. I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me. Its grace. I strongly believe that my enemies loosened my wheel nuts while I was waiting for my mobile phone to get fixed. They were either tracking me to attack or they wanted me to get involved in an accident but I thank God."

[7]

Controversies

Fake Covid-19 Certificate

In December 2020, Chiangwa and his wife were turned away from Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport on suspicion that their paperwork was not in order.

Chiangwa and his wife wanted to go for a romantic getaway in the United Arab Emirates but were turned away at Robert Mugabe International airport after allegedly producing suspected phoney Covid-19 documentation.

Chiangwa acknowledged he was denied exit to Dubai along with his wife because of challenges in paperwork.

He, however, pointed out that their Covid-19 certificates were genuine but it was his wife’s visa that raised security concern. Chiangwa said they eventually flew to Dubai the next day after sorting the issue out.[8]

References

  1. AFM leadership wrangle: Chiangwa underfire, Zim Morning Post, Published: August 27, 2019, Retrieved: May 28, 2021
  2. Nyore Madzianike and Pauline Mhuka, Madziyire wins AFM leadership wrangle, The Herald, Published: September 5, 2019, Retrieved: May 28, 2021
  3. Mary Taruvinga, Chiyangwa challenges AFM leadership defeat, NewZimbabwe.com, Published: September 9, 2019, Retrieved: May 28, 2021
  4. Nyore Madzianike, Battle for AFM far from over, The Herald, Published: September 10, 2019, Retrieved: May 28, 2021
  5. Nyore Madzianike, Court reserves judgment in AFM case, The Herald, Published: June 8, 2020, Retrieved: May 28, 2021
  6. Advent, Supreme Court Upholds High Court Ruling In AFM Saga, Pindula News, Published: May 28, 2021, Retrieved: May 28, 2021
  7. Arron Nyamayaro, AFM President in accident, H-Metro, Published: January 16, 2020, Retrieved: May 28, 2021
  8. Dubai bound AFM leader Chiangwa, wife turned away from RGM airport in suspected fake Covid-19 certificates storm, Zim Morning Post, Published: January 9, 2021, Retrieved: May 28, 2021