Pastor Accused of Swindling Elderly Congregant Out of Her House
The United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) in Bulawayo’s Nkulumane suburb is embroiled in controversy after allegations surfaced that the church’s pastor, Imon David Ndlovu, swindled an elderly congregant out of her house. Elizabeth Moyo, who later died in January 2023 from stress caused by the alleged scam, claimed that Ndlovu took advantage of her old age and initiated proceedings for her to donate her house to the church.
Court documents filed on September 20, 2022, under case number HC 1984/22 revealed that Moyo, who was 85 years old at the time, owned an immovable property of 300 square meters, which Ndlovu allegedly coaxed her to donate to the church. Moyo, who suffered from bouts of dementia and required assistance with regular day-to-day activities, unknowingly affixed her thumbprint to various transfer documents, trusting Ndlovu as the pastor of the church.
“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”.
Moyo’s Daughter Pursuing the Matter
Lifestyle tabloid B-Metro reports that Moyo’s daughter, Sikhubekiso Ndlovu, is now pursuing the matter. 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 lawsuit seeks an order to cancel the title deed of the property in favour of the church, an order to evict the church and anyone claiming occupation through it from the property, and an order for costs of the suit.
“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.
First and Second Defendants Dispute Plaintiff’s Submissions
In response, the first and second defendants, through their lawyer from Ncube and Partners, disputed the plaintiff’s submissions. They argued that Moyo was not 85 years old but 80 at the time and that she was physically and mentally fit, in control of her faculties, and not defrauded as alleged.
“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.
“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.
Despite the dispute, Moyo’s daughter remains committed to pursuing the matter, seeking justice for her mother and exposing any wrongdoing.