Things Turn Ugly For CCIC Church, Norton Town Council, Exception Application Dismissed

Things are falling apart for Christ Citadel International Church (CCIC) together with two other accused persons as they will stand trial on charges of culpable homicide for failing to stop construction of a double storey church regardless of danger warnings from the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZETDC).

The trio, CCIC representative, Lindani Ndaba, Norton Town Council represented by Bester Maramba and Israel Isheunesu, an engineer in charge of the construction work had their application for exception trashed today by Regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya.

Magistrate Mujaya said the State raised triable issues hence, the accused persons have a case to answer and thereby, their application was dismissed.

CCIC is being legally represented by Alec Muchadehama while Norton Town Council and Isheunesu are being represented by Solomon Chako.

Circumstances surrounding the matter are that, on an unknown date in 2014, CCIC bought a stand in Ngoni Township, Norton and started construction of a double storey church.

Norton Town Council was negligent in that it issued CCIC with the land knowing very well  that there was an 11kw overhead electric line directly above the stand.

The town fathers approved the building plan for the double storey structure without checking pertinent existing infrastructure.

They failed to inspect the construction of the building, exposing the public and or workers carrying out the construction of the church building to electrocution.

CCIC being the owner of the building,  is also responsible for its construction was negligent in that it embarked and continued with the construction of the church without relocating the overhead electric line despite several warnings from the ZETDC to stop construction work pending relocation of the electric line, the court heard.

The church, regardless of all the warnings failed to put measures in place to stop individuals from going up the first floor where there was poor clearance with live conductors.

Isheunesu, who is a church member and a civil engineer by profession as well, was in charge of construction work and inspection at the site. It is stated that he allowed construction work to be done under the circumstances and also failed to supervise the construction activities which resulted in Lovejoy Mwandiambira being electrocuted.

As the construction work continued on site, the stair began encroaching to the  live conductors and no barricade signs were put to stop individuals from going up to the first floor where there was poor clearance and  danger to lives. On December 4, 2014  in the morning, Mwandiambira was part of the group applying water to a concrete form on the building.

His neck came in contact with the power line before he was electrocuted and died on the spot.