Church dispute: MP determined to expose corruption

The High Court has ruled that an application by an MDC legislator to stop Prophet Makandiwa from building a church in Chitungwiza was not urgent.

Zengeza East legislator Alexio Musundire had brought an urgent chamber application to the High Court seeking to stop Makandiwa's UFI Church from proceeding with the building of the 30,000-seater chapel on Stands 19769 and 19722 adjacent to the Chitungwiza Town Centre in Seke.

Musundire says Makandiwa was corruptly allocated the land by Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo. Musundire wanted a court order to demolish the church, which is almost at roof level.

Justice Tedius Karwi threw out the application saying it was not urgent and must join the long queue of pending cases before the High Court.

Pastor Isaac Lazaro of Makandiwa's UFI Church said in opposing affidavits that the church had done nothing wrong and the acquisition of the two stands was above aboard. He said the church had splashed over a million dollars on the project.

Pastor Lazaro said if Musundire wins the case the church was prepared to pay damages or provide alternative piece of land, instead of demolishing the church. He said the church membership was ballooning with membership estimated between 40 000 and 60 000.

Pastor Lazaro denied that the church acquired the stands illegally from Chombo, and said they formally applied for land and entered a lease agreement with Chitungwiza Town Council.

Musundire has reported Makandiwa to the Anti-Corruption Commission. He says there was collusion to sweep the matter under the carpet. He says he would not fold his hands and watch corruption go unchallenged because the high and mighty were involved.

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