1 March 2017

Tanzania: Anglican Prelate Dr Mokiwa Now Saddled With Court Costs

Former Anglican Church Bishop, Dar es Salaam Diocese, Dr Valentino Mokiwa, yesterday bowed out of a running religious leadership battle after formally withdrawing his anti-deposition case, which was pending before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate's Court in the city.

Principal Resident Magistrate Thomas Simba marked "withdrawn" the suit when he received a request from advocate Mathew Kabunga, who was appearing for Dr Mokiwa in the suit. The magistrate, however, ordered the prelate to foot the full costs of the suit -- subject to taxation.

Advocate Emmanuel Nkoma, for the Church's Archbishop, Dr Jacob Chimeledya and Registered Trustees of Anglican Church of Tanzania, as defendants, could not raise any objection to the request for the withdrawal of the suit, but he pressed that the costs be paid to his clients.

The lawyer told the court that it was Dr Mokiwa who brought his clients to court and, thus, were entitled to be paid the costs they had incurred in hiring advocates to represent them in the matter, plus other payments made to the court after filing certain documents, notably the Written Statement of Defence.

In the suit, Dr Mokiwa was suing the two defendants to oppose his overthrow from the post he had been serving. On the other hand, the defendants had raised a set of grounds of objections, seeking dismissal of the suit.

Among the grounds, they argued that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit since the cause of action involved the whole Anglican Church of Tanzania and that the suit had been instituted in express violation of the Constitution of the Church.

Born in 1954, Dr Mokiwa is a former Tanzanian Anglican Archbishop. He was elected Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Tanzania in 2008 and occupied that position until 2013.

Since being elected in April 2002, Mokiwa was the Bishop of the Diocese of Dar es Salaam, until he was deposed in January 2017, by Archbishop Jacob Chimeledya after he declined to resign in the wake of a corruption investigation in the Diocese of Dar es Salaam.

It is claimed that Dr Mokiwa and Bishop Raphael Hafid, of the Diocese of Kibondo were both arrested after an angry exchange took place at a bishops' meeting of the Anglican Church of Tanzania, in February 2017.

However, they were released soon after. Dr Mokiwa was Bishop of the Diocese of Dar es Salaam when he was elected the new Archbishop of Tanzania at a special session held during the General Synod of his church in Dodoma, on February 28, 2008. He was installed in Dodoma on May 25, 2008, succeeding Donald Mtetemela.

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