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Breakaway bishop appeals Supreme Court loss: The Church of England Newspaper, November 18, 2012 p 7. November 19, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Central Africa, Property Litigation, Zimbabwe.
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Bishop Elson Jakazi has filed a motion with the Zimbabwe Supreme Court asking it to re-hear his appeal of a lower court ruling that held he was no longer Bishop of Manicaland.

Last month a three judge panel of the Zimbabwe Supreme Court heard seven appeals brought by the Church of the Province of Central Africa and the breakaway bishops of Harare and Manicaland, Dr. Nolbert Kunonga and Bishop Jakazi.  The court dismissed five of the appeals and two cases concerning Dr. Kunonga and the Diocese of Harare were taken under advisement.

Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba, sitting with Justices Vernanda Ziyambi and Yunus Omerjee struck Bishop Jakazi’s case from consideration finding he had failed to comply with the rules of the court.

On 19 May 2010 Mutare High Court JusticeChinembiri Bhunu held that as Bishop Jakazi had resigned his see to join Dr. Kunonga to form the schismatic Anglican Church of Zimbabwe, he was no longer Bishop of Manicaland. “It is an established rule that resignation is a unilateral voluntary act which takes effect as soon as the resignation has been communicated to the correct person or authority.

“What this means is that once [Bishop Jakazi]‘s resignation letter was received by the Archbishop of the Central African Province of Central Africa, he automatically ceased to be an employee or member of that church organization without any further formalities.”

Justice Bhunu concluded that “having ceased to be an employee or member of the church organisation he automatically stripped himself of any rights and privileges arising” from his office. However, the bishop stayed enforcement of his ruling pending the appeal to the Supreme Court and Bishop Jakazi remained in control of the diocese’s properties.

The Supreme Court ruling ends the stay of execution of Justice Bhunu’s order to vacate. But Bishop Jakazi has told the Manica Post that “I am not going anywhere” and would fight any attempt to evict him from the cathedral in Mutare.

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

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