Cossam Chiangwa, the losing candidate in the protracted Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe (AFM) leadership dispute, has challenged a lawsuit by the church’s legitimate leader, Amon Madawo.
Madawo is suing Chiangwa, who rebranded the church he now leads, Apostolic Faith Mission of Zimbabwe (AFM), over the use of the church’s trademark.
In response to the lawsuit, Chiangwa argues Madawo has no right to claim rights over the church name because he is not a founder of the organisation.
Chiangwa reminded Madawo that he was also being sued by the founding president of the church over the use of the AFM name. He said:
The applicant (Madawo) is not the registered owner of the trademark registration 1584/2012 as he was not in existence at that time.
Applicant cannot claim to be in any way associated with AFM as the two entities have two fundamental different constitutions.
Chiangwa also said Madawo has no right to make an application for an interdict against him. He said:
The matter is not urgent at all. Applicant conceded from the court the fact that it is being sued by the founding president of the AFM for unauthorised use of the name.
Chiangwa went on to accuse Madawo of abusing court processes before accusing him of violating the church’s constitution resulting in the creation of the current factions.
Madawo had dragged Chiangwa to court complaining that he stole his church’s trademark in a bid to mislead congregants and divert church funds. Said Madawo:
The offending logo being used by the respondents nearly resembles the applicant’s registered trademark as to cause confusion. It has a crown, a cross and a shining sun.
All these symbols are inside a circle. The only difference is that the circle used by the respondents has a white background colour while that used by the applicant is blue in colour.
Madawo said the subtle differences were immaterial and, in the circumstances, it was reasonable for the applicant to remain concerned that congregants and the public could be misled into believing there was no difference between the two churches.
Earlier this month, Enos Manyika, the founding president of AFM approached the High Court seeking an order to bar Madawo and his followers from using the AFM name without his consent.