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    Sunday, 3 December 2017

    RCZ to pay $55 000 for Pastor’s legal fees


    ZVISHAVANE – The High Court has ordered the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ) to pay a whoping $55 000 to cover legal fees incurred by a Pastor who has successfully challenged his three-year suspension from the Church.
    Reverend Innocent Munenerwa of Zvishavane Town Congregation who was suspended for teachings that are allegedly against the Church's doctrine was reinstated by Justice Joseph Mafusire last week and the RCZ Synod executive which was the respondent was ordered to pay all legal costs at attorney-client scale, the highest rate that a court can grant.
    Rev Munenerwa's lawyer Prius Chitsa of Chitsa and Associates confirmed the order by the High Court and told The Mirror that Rev Munenerwa's costs come up to $25 000 at the granted scale. He also said that the Church lost two other cases connected to Munenerwa's and these also attracted client-attorney scale bringing the cost of each to $15 000.
    The total is $55 000.
    In addition to the legal costs, the Church has also been ordered to pay Rev Munenerwa's salaries and allowances backdated to six months.
    RCZ was represented by Jackson Mupoperi of Saratoga, Makausi Law Chambers.
    RCZ National Moderator Rev Doctor Ranganai Rutoro could not be reached for comment as his mobile went unanswered. The judgement was made on November 9, 2017.
     "This is a court order where there are no negotiations, we are expecting the respondent (RCZ national executive) to pay legal costs for Munenerwa that are pegged at $25 000 while the other two cases will attract $15 000 each," said Chitsa.
    Speaking to the Press for the first time since the case started, Rev Munenerwa confirmed that he was reinstated and preparing for his departure for Pamushana where he is going to serve the Church on a promotion.
    Rev Munenerwa's woes came soon after his promotion from Zvishavane to Pamushana which is a bigger parish. The suspension was seen as a way to block his rise to higher office.
    "I am now reinstated and preparing for my departure for Pamushana. Am currently waiting for the executive to pay the legal costs and my arrears," he said.
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