The True Apostolic Church, a breakaway church, has been sued by NEW Apostolic Church Zambia, which hurried to the High Court to file the complaint.
The church has filed a lawsuit against True Apostolic Church for trespassing on its property, libel, and unauthorized use of its logos.
The offended church also requests a ruling that all churches it constructed around the nation with its money and member donations are its property, not the True Apostolic Church.
In addition, New Apostolic Church Zambia is requesting reimbursement or an investigation into damages for conversion and copyright infringement.
The church also asks for a court order requiring the defendant to give an account of any money it got from the sale of materials, goods, or items that bore or contained the plaintiff’s logo.
According to the complaint, a church of Christ that was properly registered and incorporated in Zambia at all relevant times.
According to the New Apostolic Church Zambia, it was the rightful and legitimate owner and occupier of a number of properties, including churches, in Zambia.
The plaintiff claims that during the course of its more than 100 years of operation in Zambia, it has constructed a number of churches and other buildings around the nation, some of which were built on state property and for which the State has granted certificates of title.
“The plaintiff shall aver at trial that following the break-away from the plaintiff and the subsequent registration of the defendant by the Registrar of Societies, the defendant and its members engaged in activities aimed at disturbing, interfering and disrupting the smooth operations of the plaintiff, ” the document reads.
New Apostolic Church Zambia submits hat the breakway church took over its church buildings built on traditional land and threatened church members who had remained in the main church.
“The defendant has been infuriating and demeaning the leadership of the plaintiff and interfering with the worship activities of the plaintiff including exploiting without the plaintiffs products, goods, copyrighted material, logo, emblem and other church symbols without permission, ” the document reads.
The True Apostolic Church has also threatened to take over, and in some cases, actually managed to take over and occupied the plaintiff’s church buildings.
“For instance, the defendant managed to lock up Besa Congregation in Chipata which the defendant is currently using for its own church activities and also successfully locked up, Chizongwe congregation, Hilltop congregation and Roadside Congregation in Chipata and these remain locked up on the date of issuing this process,” the statement of claim reads.
The plaintiff also submits that the defendant has also been issuing death threats.
“Death threats were issued by Priest Musonda of the defendant church currently working as a Police Chaplain at Lusaka Division of the Zambia Police against a named member of the plaintiff who shall testify at trial”.
The plaintiff also submits that the defendant wants to misled the public that it supports homosexuality by quoting a document issued by a pressure group within New Apostolic Church.
“The belief apparently held by the defendant that the plaintiff supports homosexuality has erroneously been drawn from a document titled Rainbow NAC issued by a private initiative or pressure group within the New Apostolic Church in the United States of America where homosexuality is recognized as a human right”.