Wednesday, 23 December 2020


UNITED Pentecostal Church International (UPCI) has approached the High Court seeking an eviction order against its excommunicated pastor who is allegedly refusing to vacate the church house.

Rev Antony Unganayi Nyandoro is a former pastor of UPCI who has since been excommunicated from the church. His ministerial licence was also annulled.

He was accused of leading a group of church members who sought to unconstitutionally replace the church’s national board and executive board.

Rev Nyandoro was also accused by his rivals of gross mismanagement of church funds and usurping the functions of the executive board.

The church said despite causing unlawful and disorderly behaviour, Rev Nyandoro and his sympathisers refused to attend a disciplinary hearing, which subsequently led to their ex-communication from church and ministerial duties.

Rev Nyandoro, together with three others — Reverends Samuel Mugwiji, Edward Fish Gwebu and Pride Nhokwara, belonging to his camp, were in 2018 interdicted from using the church’s name and using church premises in New Lobengula suburb and Eastlea in Harare by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese.

They were ordered not to attend and interrupt church meetings following an application by UPCI. They were also barred from staging demonstrations against the church’s leaders and members.

Rev Nyandoro is part of the leadership of the breakaway group which caused violent skirmishes and disrupted the church’s Easter Conference in Kwekwe in April 2018 resulting in the intervention of anti-riot police and the Zimbabwe National Army. During the conference, ZRP and ZNA provided security to quell the threat of violence.

The church, the world’s largest Oneness Pentecostal denomination headquartered in Weldon Spring, Missouri, United States, is mired in leadership disputes that have resulted in nine court cases at the High Court in Bulawayo and Harare.

UPCI was formed in 1945 by a merger of the former Pentecostal Church, Inc. and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ.

UPCI, through its lawyers Liberty Mcijo and Associates, filed summons at the Bulawayo High Court citing Rev Nyandoro as a defendant.

The church wants an eviction order against Rev Nyandoro is pursuant to Justice Makonese’s ruling under case number HC1675/17 in which the defendant was part of the individuals that were interdicted from using church buildings in Bulawayo and Harare.

“The defendant is a former pastor who has since been excommunicated from the church and had his ministerial licence cancelled. He, however, continues to live on church premises despite the fact that he is no longer part of the church,” said the lawyers.

The church wants an order directing the defendant to vacate the church premises including all those claiming occupation through him.

“Due to the fact that the defendant is no longer a member of the church and was only using the premises by virtue of his membership, he is liable to eviction. Wherefore, the plaintiff claim against the defendant is for his immediate ejectment on the grounds that he was excommunicated from the church,” said the lawyers.

The church said Rev Nyandoro was given a notice to vacate the church premises, but remained defiant. The church said in the event that the defendant refused to comply within 48 hours of the granting of the order, the Sheriff of the High Court should be directed to remove him.

Rev Nyandoro is yet to respond to the application.  Chronicle


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