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Treasury orders Kunonga assets frozen: CEN 2.27.09 p 6. March 2, 2009

Posted by geoconger in British Foreign Policy, Church of England Newspaper, Zimbabwe.
The Rt. Rev. Nolbert Kunonga

The Rt. Rev. Nolbert Kunonga

The Treasury has ordered British banks to freeze any funds or assets held by the former Bishop of Harare, Dr. Nolbert Kunonga.

On Jan 27, the government released a “Financial Sanctions Notification” stating that in conjunction with European Commission Regulation No 77/2009 “all funds or economic resources belonging” to 27 individuals and 36 corporations tied to the regime of Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe “must be frozen.”

Number 13 on the list is Dr. Kunonga, whom the Treasury describes as a “self-appointed Anglican Bishop” whose “followers have been backed by the police in committing acts of violence.”

In 2002 the US State Department and the EU ordered a ban on Dr. Kunonga’s movements, forbidding his entry into Europe or the US. The 2009 Treasury circular stated that “no funds or economic resources are to be made available, directly or indirectly, to or for the benefit” of Dr. Kunonga or the list of banned regime supporters.

“Financial institutions and other bodies and persons in the UK are required to check whether they maintain any accounts or otherwise hold any funds or economic resources for the persons named and, if so, they should report to the Treasury details of all funds or economic resources that they have frozen in accordance with Article 6 of Regulation 314/2004,” the circular stated.

A long time ally of the regime, Dr. Kunonga is the only clergyman sanctioned by the EU or the US for his complicity with the crimes of the Mugabe regime. In a 2004 report the US State Department said that the Mugabe regime had “bypassed canonical law to install” Dr. Kunonga as Bishop of Harare and had rewarded him for his loyalty to the regime. “In October 2003, Kunonga seized a formerly white-owned farm ten miles from Harare and evicted fifty black workers to make way for his own staff.”

On Feb 12 Dr. Kunonga gave the invocation at the swearing in of the country’s new government. Reading from Ezekiel Chapter 37, Dr. Kunonga likened the fragile coalition of President Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party and the opposition MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to the “valley of dry bones.”

The coalition government was “the work of God to make Zimbabweans speak with one voice and govern and control their own destiny,” Dr. Kunonga told the small audience at Harare’s State House.

“Zimbabweans today are being called to create a situation that is tolerable and acceptable to us all,” Dr. Kunonga said to the new leaders in the service broadcast to the nation. “The leaders have no choice but to make things work. It’s time to bury the past and continue with what is progressive and beneficial to us all.”

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