Reverend sues bishop, assistant pastor
By Staff Reporter
A REVEREND of Redeemed Gospel Church International has sued a bishop and a pastor of the same church in the Lusaka High Court, demanding a refund of all monies that he spent to set up the church in Zambia and salary arrears.
Reverend John Mwiti, a Kenyan has sued Bishop Stephan Kanyia who is general secretary of the governing council of the church and Pastor Oliver Stambuli, his assistant pastor.
Reverend Mwiti is also seeking an injunction restraining the two pastors and their agents from interfering into his church activities.
In a statement of claim filed in the principal registry on July 22, Reverend Mwiti stated that he was a reverend senior pastor and employee of the Redeemed Gospel Church International.
He stated that he was currently carrying his gospel mission works in Zambia.
Reverend Mwiti stated that on July 1, 2013, he was offered a contract of employment by Bishop Kanyia to set up and oversee churches in Zambia.
He stated that by the said contract, he was mandated among other things, to plant churches in Zambia, oversee the running of Bishop Kanyia’s church and was custodian of all church properties of Bishop Kanyia in Zambia
Reverend Mwiti stated that he also ensured that ministers maintain discipline within the church in Zambia, organise for ordination and consecration of church ministers and perform any other duties as may be agreed by the presiding bishop of the governing council of Redeemed Gospel Church International.
Reverend Mwiti stated that it was a term of contract that Bishop Kanyia was to pay him K9,100 per month.
The plaintiff stated that Bishop Kanyia has never fulfilled any of the contractual obligations, thereby causing untold suffering on him and his family.
The reverend stated that he has had difficulties in providing basic needs for his family, sponsoring his children to schools, paying utility bills and meeting other obligations.
He stated that from the date of the contract, he has efficiently and diligently worked with zeal and dedication, facts which are well within the defendants knowledge.
Reverend Mwiti explained that he managed to register the Church with the Registrar of Societies and successfully set it up in Zambia.
He claimed that he built a Church in Avondale using his own resources from well wishers without Bishop Kanyia’s help and had ordained and consecrated Stambuli as a pastor.
Reverend Mwiti stated that on July 9 this year, he was recalled to Kenya by Bishop Kanyia on advice by pastor Stambuli in a manner that he interpreted as constructive dismissal without according him a right to be heard.
He added that he was also not subjected to any disciplinary procedures in an event of indiscipline.
The plaintiff stated that Bishop Kanyia ordered him to hand over all church documents, preaching equipment, instruments and other church property.
Reverend Mwiti stated that he was also ordered to vacate the Church that he sweated to bring to the level that it is today without bishop Kanyia’s help.
He added that Bishop Kanyia has breached the contract of employment and that a recall and a dismissal is unlawful and against the laws of both Zambia and Kenya.
Reverend Mwiti is seeking damages for breach of contract of employment for non payment of his entitled salary and demands refund of all monies that he personally spent on setting up a Church branch in Zambia and costs.