A High Court Judge has compared spiritist preacher Emmanuel Makandiwa to the jailed pastor Robert Martin Gumbura.
This was as Makandiwa was last week trying to avoid trial by claiming legal immunity. Makandiwa claimed that he possesses special ecclesiastical privileges which shield him from the jurisdiction of the courts.
All this was in the case in which he is being sued for fraud having participated in and caused the defrauding of his congregants Upenyu and Blessing Mashangwa. The couple eventually lost millions of dollars after Makandiwa had allegedly used his pulpit powers to impose a fake lawyer, Mr. Tichaona Mawere.
The case comes as the Law Society for years revealed that Mr Tichaona Mawere is not a registered lawyer.
Makandiwa then applied for exception.
But Justice Mangota ruling, compared Makandiwa with the convicted Robert Martin Gumbura, who was also a church leader. Justice Mangota said Gumbura’s case was proof that every person is fallible and no one was immune to making mistakes.
“He will either be prosecuted or sued, depending on what is alleged to have been done. That depends on the definition society places on his conduct. That will, once again, occur irrespective of his status — social, spiritual or otherwise — in society.
“Applying the above-observed matters to the current case, therefore, the defendants (Prophet Makandiwa, his wife Ruth and UFIC) cannot be allowed to hide behind the proposition that their situation relates to ecclesiastical matters which the court has no jurisdiction to determine.”
“A fortiori when the Maheya case upon which they placed reliance was over-ruled by the Supreme Court. Where they are alleged, as in casu, to have acted fraudulently to the prejudice of some of their congregants the latter have every right to sue them. The plea which they advance will not, therefore, assist them. ”