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Wife's Bid To Replace Late Top Cleric As Church Leader Flops – New Zimbabwe.com

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By Mary Taruvinga


SPIRITED efforts by the widow of late top local church founder Cuthbert Tafundikira Makoni, Leddie Makoni to become the church’s leader following the death of her husband have flopped after the High Court Monday ruled that she has no legal right to mount a court application on behalf of the church.

Leddie and her son Collin Zondai Makoni are involved in a bitter fight over the church’s presidency.

Leddie last year approached the High Court seeking a declarator that she is the rightful leader of the church according to the constitution of Christ Ministries Church.

She wanted her son, Collin to be stopped from creating confusion in the church and interfering with the church’s business.

However, High Court judge Justice Jacob Manzunzu struck the matter off the roll, ruling that the matter was improperly before the court.

“I have read it (the church’s constitution) and apart from giving the President the right to make unilateral decisions in some instances, nowhere does it expressly empower the President to unilaterally institute proceedings on behalf of the 1st applicant (Christ Ministries) without consulting the executive committee,” the court ruled.

“The second applicant (Leddie) has failed to prove that she has been authorized by the 1st applicant to institute these proceedings. Her position as President of the 1st applicant is under challenge and she cannot act as such until a determination is made by the court.”

“It is ordered that; the deponent of the affidavit has no authority to represent the applicant. The application is struck off the roll with costs.”

Christ Ministries Church was cited as the first applicant in the court application while Leddie is the second applicant.

She complained her son had developed the habit of scandalising her in a bid to win favours from church members.

Collin, Moses Ruvetsa, and the Registrar of Marriages were cited as first, second and third respondents, respectively.

According to the court application, the church solemnises civil marriages in terms of the Marriage Act (Chapter 5:11) and is required by law to submit a copy of its constitution to the Registrar of Marriages.

However, according to Leddie’s affidavit, her son is influencing the Marriages Registrar not to entertain her.

She said she founded the Christ Ministries Church with her late husband with the now deceased being the founding president.

On April 4, 1992, a special meeting of the church’s assembly adopted a constitution for the church and in terms of that constitution, the church is a corporate body, separate and distinct from its members.

Leddie said prior to his death, her husband on October 6 2014 executed his last will and testament.

“In his will, my late husband appointed me to succeed him as president. This puts the succession issue beyond debate. I was appointed as the successor to Rev C T Makoni before his death in accordance with clause 6(a) of the Constitution,” she says in her court papers.

“Accordingly, my exercise of presidential powers is lawful and constitutional. I have a clear right to the presidency and I respectfully request this court to grant me a declaration to this effect.”

She had said Collin does not recognise her as the president of the church.

She also said Collin had also instructed his guards to bar Leddie from visiting the church office insisting the religious institution had no leader yet since the death of his father.

“The dispute arises from the conduct of the first respondent who is my second child,” Leddie said.

“He refuses to recognise my appointment as president and has issued endless correspondence to members of the church in which he scandalises me and other senior members of the church. His conduct is causing unnecessary instability within the church.”

Leddie further accused her son of getting support from Ruvetsa who claims to be head of denomination adding Ruvetsa was writing letters to the Registrar of Marriages instructing him to reject the church’s 1992 constitution.

She said Ruvetsa continues to cause havoc despite that he is based in the United Kingdom where he has started his own church known as Maranatha Assemblies of God.

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Woman who allegedly hacked husband to pieces and fled to Zimbabwe too ill for court – IOL

Rustenburg – The murder case against a 42-year-old woman accused of killing her husband six years ago and tossing his body parts in three different pit toilets was postponed at the Mankwe Magistrate’s Court in Mogwase on Tuesday due to her ill-health.

The court heard that Nancy Majonhi was too ill to attend court and was admitted to hospital where she was under police guard.

In her previous appearance, the court ordered she be subjected to mental examination before applying for bail.

Majonhi did not appear in court on October 12 due to ill-health, and the court was told she was refusing to eat while in police custody.

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She is accused of beating her husband Prosper Chipungare with a hammer until he lost consciousness, she then chopped him with a spade and disposed of his body parts in three pit toilets.

She, thereafter, thoroughly cleaned the place and went to Sun City police station, where she reported her husband was missing.

According to North West police, the incident occurred at a rented room in Ledig near Sun City on July 28, 2015, after the couple had a fight.

After the incident, Majonhi went home to Zimbabwe, where she confessed to her family and in-laws that she had killed her husband.

The families arranged to come to South Africa, and Majonhi handed herself over to the Sun City police.

Following her arrest, three pit latrines she pointed out as the places she had buried her husband’s body parts, were searched and the police managed to retrieve a skull and bones which would be subjected to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) tests.

The case was postponed to November 9.

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Wedza Man Sentenced To Death For Killing Employer – New Zimbabwe.com

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By Mary Taruvinga


A WEDZA man Tapiwa Murombo has been sentenced to death for murdering his employer over a debt dispute.

The sentence was handed by a High Court judge, Justice Priscilla Munangati-Manongwa following Murombo’s conviction over the murder of Partson Musarandoga.

He was found guilty in 2015.

In delivering, her sentence the judge said Murombo failed to exonerate himself from the offense, and evidence produced in court weighed heavily against him.

The court proved that after killing his employer, Murombo wrote a suicide letter purporting to be Musarandoga.

In the fake letter, Musarandoga was said to have told his family to give Murombo a tonne of maize and 25 liters of diesel to cover up for the money owed.

Musarandoga’s body was found dumped at Rhodesdale dam a few days after he went missing.

Police immediately started investigations leading to the arrest of Murombo following a high-speed car chase along the Harare-Chirundu highway.

In court, Murombo pleaded not guilty to the charge, arguing he had parted ways with Musarandoga cordially after the two settled a US$4 000 tillage debt owed to him in exchange for a Toyota Vitz.

However, according to the state, on August 21, 2015, Murombo axed Musarandoga on the head at a farm situated along the Wedza road.

He then stole Musarandoga’s vehicle.

The state proved after committing the murder, Murombo went on to forge a suicide note with contents directing him to get proceeds from selling the deceased’s tonne of maize, diesel, and a car battery.

Murombo then disappeared to an unknown location before the deceased’s son called him looking for his father.

The court heard that Murombo provided two different addresses in Rusape to the deceased’s son where he claimed Musarandoga had relocated to with his new wife.

Murombo switched off his mobile phone before proceeding to Kariba to buy kapenta fish for resale.

However, after a tip-off, police officers from the Homicide Section pursued Murombo along the Harare-Chirundu highway where they shot him on his leg when he tried to escape.

The deceased’s particulars and a Nokia Asha 303 phone were found in Murombo’s possession.

He was later taken for indications at Rhodesdale dam in Wedza where Musarandoga’s body was found.

In her ruling, the judge said; “The court finds that the reasons advanced are not such as to convince the court not to pass the death sentence. In essence, after taking all factors into account, this court finds that there are no circumstances of a mitigating nature that would call for a lesser sentence.

“Neither a life sentence nor a sentence of not less than 20 years will meet the justice of the case. Thus, in the absence of any meaningful reasons advanced by the accused as to why the death sentence should not be imposed upon him, and the accused not being in the group that is excluded by s 48(2)(c) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) from receiving a death sentence, the accused is sentenced to death,” she said.

“The accused shall be returned to prison to be held until the execution of the sentence according to law.”

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Court finds Colombia responsible for rape, torture of journalist – Yahoo Eurosport UK

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights on Monday ruled that the state of Colombia bears responsibility for the ordeal of a female journalist who was kidnapped, raped and then tortured in 2000 by paramilitaries.

Jineth Bedoya was working for the El Espectador newspaper at the time, investigating a weapons smuggling ring, when she was abducted and assaulted by far-right militia members.

The paramilitaries, some of whom have since been convicted, were among the forces that fought left-wing guerrillas in Colombia until their official demobilization in 2006.

The acts against Bedoya “could not have been carried out without the consent and collaboration of the (Colombian) State, or at least with its tolerance,” the court, an autonomous part of the Organization of American States (OAS), ruled on Monday.

Bedoya, now 47, hailed the decision.

“October 18, 2021 goes down in history as the day when a struggle that began with an individual crime has led to the vindication of the rights of thousands of women who have been victims of sexual violence and of women journalists who leave a part of their lives in their work,” tweeted Bedoya, who was awarded the UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize last year.

Colombia “fully accepts the decision,” President Ivan Duque tweeted.

“I will always condemn any violent act against women and journalists,” he said. “The sentence should serve as a guide to actions that can be implemented to prevent anything like this from happening again.”

Bedoya had implicated agents of the state, in particular an “influential” general of the police force, in the attack, which started when she was kidnapped in front of La Modelo prison in the capital Bogota.

The paramilitaries tortured and raped her for 16 hours before leaving her lying naked by the side of a road.

Bedoya has said she has suffered two decades of “persecution, intimidation and constant threats.”

– ‘Deadly dangers’ –

The Colombian state was guilty of “failing to investigate the threats that had been received” by Bedoya, according to a statement released by the judicial wing of the OAS, headquartered in Costa Rica.

The failure to investigate violated Bedoya’s “rights to judicial guarantees, judicial protection and equality before the law,” the court ruled.

It also ordered Colombia to “punish those remaining responsible for the acts of violence,” and called for other measures including the creation of a training program for public officials and security forces focused on violence against women.

It made no reference, however, to the closure of La Modelo — one of Bedoya’s main requests.

The Colombian state had apologized to the journalist before the same court in March, when it also ordered the government to immediately ensure the safety of Bedoya and her mother, who had both been victims of threats — including a 1999 attack on both that the state failed to investigate.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights had referred the case to the court in 2019. Its decisions are definitive and unappealable.

The Press Freedom Foundation (FLIP) welcomed Monday’s “dignified” decision for a woman who “has tirelessly sought justice for more than 20 years.”

And the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called it “a historic acknowledgment of the deadly dangers that Colombia’s female journalists face.”

“The Colombian government has for years refused to acknowledge or make amends for its responsibility in this case,” it said in a statement.

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