Zimbabwean Pastor in messy divorce row over church assets
A famous Zimbabwean Pastor and founder of Family Of God (FOG) Apostle Andrew Wutawunashe, and his estranged wife, Dr Rutendo Wutawunashe, are locked in a messy divorce row.
According to local media sources, Wutawunashe and Rutendo, who have been living separately since 2005 and have not been sharing conjugal rights, are in “Titanic” divorce court battle before High Court judge Alfas Chitakunye in Harare, Zimbabwe over how to share the church property.
Rutendo, a medical doctor and founder of Precious Stone Ministry, is demanding a share of church assets, arguing that they are part of their matrimonial property. She insists that she is entitled to a share of the church assets because it has always been part of their family and that she sacrificed her medical profession in pursuit of the church vision.
In additional to getting a substantial share of the church property, the wife of the Zimbabwean pastor is also demanding a $200 000 lump sum or alternatively an order for $5 000 monthly maintenance in the event that the divorce decree is granted.
Her demand is being contested by Wutawunashe, who argues that the church property is not part of the matrimonial assets. “The additional property that defendant refers to is exclusive church property which does not form part of the matrimonial assets,” the Zimbabwean Pastor told the court.
Wutawunashe further argues that Family of God Church or any of its related ministries belong to the Trustees for Andrew Wutawunashe World Witness or the Family of God Church, maintaining that the church is not jointly owned, nor is Rutendo a co-founder.
“A church is a universitas, a legal friction, an aggregation of individuals forming a persona or entity having the capacity of acquiring rights and incurring obligations to a great extent as a human being.”
But Rutendo is claiming that the Zimbabwean Pastor is the sole controller of the trust that manages the church affairs. “He exercises de facto control of the trust and its assets. From the registration of the trust in 2001 until January 2013, no meeting of the trustees was ever convened and the other two trustees acted solely on his instructions.”
Revelations of the couple’s separation became a media frenzy early in February 2016 when Apostle Wutawunashe wrote a letter written to the church’s elders stating that he had separated from his wife for ten years, had recently filed for divorce and intended to remarry “sooner rather than later”. It was later revealed that the other woman in Apostle Wutawunashe’s life is a youth pastor within the Family Of God church.
The messy divorce row between the Zimbabwean pastor and his wife, echoes in frightening similarity the divorce scandal that involved the Christ Embassy Church founder, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, when his wife, Rev. Anita Odegwa Oyakhilome, filed for divorce in a London court on the grounds of “unreasonable behaviour” and “adultery.”
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