AFM pastors cleared to solemnise marriages

27 Feb, 2020 - 14:02 0 Views
AFM pastors cleared to solemnise marriages


Mathew Masinge, Court Reporter

HIGH Court Judge Christopher Dube-Banda has ordered the Registrar General of Zimbabwe – Clemence Masango – to allow Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) pastors to solemnise marriages.

This follows a recent application by the church which challenged the RG’s decision to exempt AFM pastors from possessing marriage registers and stationery.

According to the challenge, Masango’s actions were invalid and had no legal effect because reasons were based on factional disputes between Reverends Aspher Madziyire and Cossam Chiangwa.

With the leadership battle still going with a pending Supreme Court challenge against Madziyire’s victory, the Registrar had stopped issuing marriage registers to pastors from both factions.

In his finding, the judge noted that Madziyire’s victory did not confer any rights but confirmed existing rights.

“…I find that the applicant (AFM) has an arguable case, on the point that the noting of an appeal did not suspend its pastor’s right to solemnise marriages, therefore its pastors must continue performing that function pending the confirmation or discharge of this provisional order.

“…the respondent (Registrar General) shall provide or make available for the applicant’s pastors all marriage registers and stationery required from time to time to execute their duties as marriage officers.

“Therefore an appeal against a declaratory order must be an exception to the general rule, which says that the noting of an appeal in a civil case automatically suspends the execution of any order granted by the court of first instance,” ruled Justice Dube-Banda.

The ruling was delivered on February 5 following an application by the church on behalf of its pastors.

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