Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
Excommunicated Anglican bishop Nolbert Kunonga’s wife used fictitious invoices to lay claim to the family’s 50 head of cattle that were attached to pay off money owed to the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA), the High Court has ruled.
Kunonga was in November 2012 ordered by the Supreme Court to hand back all the Anglican properties he seized over a decade ago.
The court also granted an order for the attachment of Kunonga’s property to recover nearly half a million dollars.
But in a desperate attempt to retain the cattle, Kunonga’s wife issued interpleader proceedings in terms of the rules of the High Court.
During the hearing of the civil matter, Mrs Kunonga brought invoices to show that she was the one who bought the cattle.
She produced two invoices in support of her claim of the cattle that had glaring discrepancies, which she failed to explain.
Mrs Kunonga failed to explain why she was given payment details, yet she claimed she paid cash for the cattle.
In dismissing Mrs Kunonga’s application, Justice Mary Zimba-Dube ruled that the documents she produced were not convincing to prove that she genuinely bought the cattle.
“The invoices do not conclusively prove that the claimant bought the cattle and that they belong to her and not the judgment debtor,” she said while dismissing the interpleader application.
“The suggestion is that the sales are a fiction and the invoices were forged. The documents smack of collusion with the judgment debtor.”
Some of the property that the Kunonga family lost are a 470 Massey Ferguson tractor, a Toyota Gaia and Agropower Beta 600-litre tank boom spray.
Also attached were a Gaspardo Ciro vicon spreader, Gaspaerdo Ciro Jacto vicon spreader, AS Venture 500-litre black tank boomspray, Farmec 24-disc harrow, 10-disc planter and Gaspardo seed planter.
During his reign, which lasted nearly a decade, Kunonga illegally expropriated CPCA assets to his new church, the Anglican Church of Zimbabwe.
The CPCA won the battle to repossess the church’s properties, but Kunonga had already disposed of some of them.
Among the assets Kunonga disposed of were various parcels of company shares that were listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, including those in mobile network operator Econet.