CCAP church in Ntchisi was on Friday ordered to pay K130,000 as compensation to a pregnant woman who dragged the church to court for defamation, after delegates from the church confronted her to enquire if the man responsible for her pregnancy was a member of their church.
The woman, Ruth Maundu,32, complained that her rights to privacy was infringed and her name defamed due to the enquiry that the church carried on her.
Speaking in defense during court proceedings, one of the senior members of the church, Michael Kamende, said the church did not intend to defame the woman but was clearing the church’s image which was at stake as there were rumours that one of the senior members of the church was going out with the lady.
“Each time our senior member stood up to preach in church, the congregation murmured in protest due to the rumour surrounding him. Ours was just an enquiry so that we could discipline our member if it was discovered to be true,” said Kamende, who spoke emphatically with gestures throughout trying to save the church’s face.
He said the church didn’t see any problem with the action it took to clear the mist using the woman but said ‘unfortunately’ the woman aimed at embarrassing the church.
“I don’t see the reason why we are in court over this issue today. This could have been sorted within ourselves and the chief of the area but the woman only thought and chose to embarrass our church for her own interest,” said the church elder.
Apart from Kamende who was leader of the church’s defense, other two church leaders entered the docks trying to save the church by testifying. The woman insisted and pressured the church to prove if they considered her rights to privacy and her name in their enquiry which she said involved a number of people risking her dignity and privacy.
However, Second Grade Magistrate Young Ng’oma, adjourned the proceedings for a couple of minutes for judgment and reappeared with judgment file a little later as the church members who filled the court to capacity, held their breath.
Reading the judgment, Ng’oma said the church was at fault as it went outside its bounds as the woman involved, belonged to a different church and that the church failed to prove that there was a relationship between its member and the woman.
The magistrate said due to the enquiry, the woman’s name was defamed, her rights to privacy infringed and psychologically affected by church’s action.
He then ordered the church to compensate the woman with K130 ,000, the ruling that did not go well with the CCAP members present who chanted songs of sorrow outside the court.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :