Harare High Court judge Justice Happias Zhou has dismissed an application to have the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe (AFM) church’s financial records audited externally. This came after AFM pastors Kefias Mujokeri and Paymore Murefu sued Aspher Madziyire, the president of the AFM saying that he had never conducted an audit in the 15 years he has been in office. However Justice Zhou dismissed the application saying,
Neither membership nor employment gives the applicants a legal right to the finances or other assets of the first respondent (AFM). The respondent as a church is a private organisation, which a member can choose to join or leave.
Members do not invest money in a church which would give them a right to its assets because the first respondent both in terms of its constitution and by the common law has a juristic personality, which is distinct from that of its members. Assets of the first respondent do not belong to its members.
…While its constitution gives it legal personality with the capacity to sue or be sued in its own name, the first respondent does not, by that fact, become a public institution.