Zimbabwe-ARCHBISHOP Nolbert Kunonga’s Anglican Church of the Province of Zimbabwe’s fresh bid to control Anglican Church property yesterday hit a snag after the High Court threw out his church’s urgent chamber application.
Judge President George Chiweshe ruled that the Supreme Court had already determined the property ownership case.
To this end, he said, he had no jurisdiction to hear the fresh application by Archbishop Kunonga and his ACPZ.
Archbishop Kunonga’s church was ordered to pay the costs of the suit.
Last month, Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba ruled that the property in question belonged to the Church of the Province of Central Africa’s Harare Diocese led by Bishop Chad Gandiya.
Justice Chiweshe said lawyers for CPCA, led by Advocate Thabani Mpofu, convincingly argued that the High Court had no jurisdiction to hear the matter.
“The parties have referred me to numerous authorities in support of their respective positions. I thank them for their diligent research and their lively arguments.
“In the final analysis, I agree with the mother church that this matter is res judicata (matter already decided) — the Supreme Court has spoken.
“Accordingly, I hold that I have no jurisdiction to entertain this application. For that reason, I would, as I hereby do, dismiss this application with costs,” ruled Justice Chiweshe.
Adv Mpofu and Mr Raymond Moyo of Gill Godlonton and Gerrans represented CPCA while Mr Jonathan Samukange and Mr Tafadzwa Hungwe of Venturas and Samukange acted for ACPZ.
Justice Chiweshe said Archbishop Kunonga’s ACPZ should have approached the Supreme Court for determination on whether it was bound by the Supreme Court judgment delivered in favour of CPCA.
“The answer to these questions requires an interpretation of the scope and extent of the Supreme Court judgment in SC48/2012.
“The High Court is not the appropriate forum for that kind of exercise. The applicant church should have approached the Supreme Court for directions,” ruled Justice Chiweshe.
However, Justice Chiweshe said CPCA’s decision to continue with evictions in the face of a notice of set down was wrong.