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The United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA)’s branch in Bulawayo’s Nkulumane suburb is at the centre of a fraud storm amid allegations that they duped one of their elderly congregants of her house.

According to court papers filed at the Bulawayo High Court on 20 September last year under case number HC 1984/ 22 Elizabeth Moyo who later died from stress caused by the alleged duping claimed that the church’s pastor Imon David Ndlovu took advantage of her old age and initiated proceedings for her to donate her house to the church.

Through her lawyer Tendai Mike Abraham from Tanaka Law Chambers, Moyo had listed Nkulumane United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA), Imon David Ndlovu, The Registrar of Deeds and the City of Bulawayo as the first, second, third and fourth defendants.

The suit reads in part: “Sometime in 2014, the plaintiff was a congregant at the 1st defendant’s Nkulumane branch. The plaintiff was 85 years of age at the time and owned an immovable property, 300 square metres in size, being stand number 14228 Nkulumane Township of stand Number 12600 Nkulumane Township situated in the District of Bulawayo.

“As a result of being advanced in age, plaintiff at the time, and since is infirm, suffers from bouts of dementia and requires assistance with regular day to day activities. Plaintiff is also illiterate”.

The lawsuit states that in 2014, Ndlovu being the pastor of the church initiated proceedings for the now deceased Moyo to donate her house to the church.

According to the court papers Moyo was made to unwittingly affix her thumb print to various transfer documents and she did so trusting Ndlovu as the pastor at the church.

“Plaintiff was illegally and surreptitiously defrauded into donating her immovable property to the 1st defendant. Section 8 of the Deeds Registries Act (Chapter 20:05) provides for the cancellation of a title deed under the present fraudulent circumstances,” further reads the lawsuit.

“Wherefore the plaintiff’s claim is for an order cancelling the title deed 1125/ 2014 over stand number 14228 Nkulumane Township of Stand Number 12600 Nkulumane Township situated in the District of Bulawayo in favour of the 1st defendant.

“An order evicting 1st defendant and all persons claiming occupation through it from stand number 14228 Nkulumane Township of Stand Number 12600 Nkulumane Township situated in the District of Bulawayo and an order for the costs of suit at an attorney client scale,” read the demand.

In response the first and second defendants through their lawyer from Ncube and Partners disputed the plaintiff’s submissions.

“While it is true that the plaintiff was and still remains a member of the 1st defendant, it is not true that she was 85 at that time. In fact, she was 80 years old. The plaintiff is put to the strict proof thereof,” their response read in part.

They stated that despite being advanced in age Moyo during that time was physically and mentally fit and at all times in control of her faculties.

“The donation proceedings were initiated in 2010. It’s not true that the plaintiff unwittingly affixed her thumb. Evidence shall be made to show that the donation was made in the full knowledge of the exigencies thereof.

“The plaintiff was not defrauded as it is alleged, the donation done by the plaintiff was done inter vivos and it was done above board,” they argued.

Moyo’s daughter Sikhubekiso Ndlovu (40) is pursuing the matter.

Written By

Everything seems impossible until it is done. Senior Vice President, Strategy, @ZiMetroNews. I am an independent journalist based in Harare, Zimbabwe. I cover the intersection of politics, gender, and social justice in the Southern Africa region, and have written for News365, The Sunday Post, Harare Live, and ZA News Online among others. I am currently working on a non-fiction book that looks at Zimbabwe through the eyes of urban poor women.

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