HARARE – United Family International Church (UFIC) founder and leader Emmanuel Makandiwa and his wife Ruth have a case to answer after a High Court judge ruled that there is merit in a US$6,5 million lawsuit lodged by former congregates over alleged false prophecies.
In a fresh twist to the US$6.5 million false prophecies lawsuit pitying Oceane Perfumes business couple Blessing and Upenyu Mashangwa, High Court judge Justice David Mangota has ruled in favour of the business couple.
The Makandiwas through Advocate Lewis Uriri had sought the quashing of the US$6.5 million claim by the Mashangwas on the basis that secular courts cannot deal with issues of faith and church related practices and doctrines.
The Mashangwas approached the court after allegedly losing millions to the man of cloth under the blindfold of faith and the belief that the religious couple had the spiritual gift of foretelling their future.
They lodged 6 claims in which they accused the Makandiwas of deliberately making false statements during church services with the specific intention to defraud them and other congregants.
They further said the misrepresentations induced them to part away with millions of dollars.
They were represented by Advocate Thabani Mpofu and instruction from Jonathan Samukange.
They gave an example of being paraded by the church leaders before the entire church being edified and showered with praise as the chosen people of God and successful business people.
They said such statements made them contribute more.
They say they lost their Marlborough home over a ZB Bank loan of US$500 000 following a prophecy by Makandiwa which stated all their debts would be cancelled.
The Makandiwas applied for exception to the claims on the basis that they were vague and embarrassing and did not disclose a cause of action among other issues.
Justice Mangota, however, ruled that it was evident that the Mashangwas case in four claims was water tight as there was nothing vague or embarrassing in each of the claims, the cause of action was clear and to the point.
He added that the two parties enjoyed very good social and possibly spiritual ties.
Justice Mangota noted that the Mashangwas stated that they had acted upon the misrepresentations by the Makandiwas because they had not known the true facts.
Justice Mangota dismissed the Makandiwas application for exception with costs and the matter shall proceed to be heard on merits in terms of the High Court rules of 1971. – ZBC