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Supreme Court to hear Kunonga complaint: The Church of England Newspaper, September 30, 2012 p 6. October 2, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Central Africa, Property Litigation, Zimbabwe.
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Dr Nolbert Kunonga

The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe has set a court date to adjudicate who is the lawful owner of the Diocese of Harare’s properties.  In an email to the Church of England Newspaper, Harare Bishop Chad Gandiya reported “the Supreme Court hearing will take place from the 22 October 2012 and will last that week.”

Following his withdrawal from the Church of the Province of Central Africa and his excommunication, the former Bishop of Harare, Dr. Nolbert Kunonga, named himself Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Zimbabwe and proceeded to expropriate church properties.  A supporter of President Robert Mugabe and the rulin ZANU-PF party, Dr. Kunonga was assisted in his takeover of church lands by the security services.

The CPCA asked the court to restrain Dr. Kunonga.  However, rulings directing Dr. Kunonga to share church properties were ignored, while those giving him trusteeship of properties pending a final adjudication were enforced with violence by the security services.

Speaking to a meeting of the Diocese of Natal clergy on 14 Sept 2012, Bishop Gandiya reported Dr. Kunonga had extended his reach to the diocese of Manicaland and Masvingo, taking over church properties from the Anglican bishops with the assistance of the police.  An attempt to confiscate church properties was blocked by the local courts in the Diocese of Central Zimbabwe, while the breakaway bishop had yet to make a move in Matabeleland.

“If Bishop Nolbert Kunonga tries to take over the Anglican Church in Matabeleland, he will be playing with fire,” Bishop Gandiya said, according to the Diocese of Natal Inzibada.

“Given that Kunonga is Shona, and the history of atrocities that the [North Korean- trained, Shona] 5th Brigade committed in Matabeleland in the 1980s, the people of Matabeleland are most unlikely to stand for Kunonga’s interference there,” the bishop said.

“We look forward to getting back the properties that Kunonga stole from the CPCA. In the meantime he continues illegally to strip the church of assets by selling off its lands,” Bishop Gandiya told the Natal clergy.

In his email Bishop Gandiya said he was “appealing for any assistance towards covering our legal bills. Most importantly we are asking you all to join us in a week of prayer and fasting during the hearing period starting on the 22nd October. We want to thank you all for journeying with us during this difficult period in the history of our church.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

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