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Supreme Court loss for Dr. Kunonga: The Church of England Newspaper, October 28, 2012 p 6. October 31, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Central Africa, Property Litigation, Zimbabwe.
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Dr Julius Makoni, Bishop of Manicaland

The Harare Supreme Court has handed breakaway bishop Dr. Nolbert Kunonga and his allies a defeat in their bid to take control of Anglican church properties in Zimbabwe.

On 22 Oct 2012 the country’s high court heard the seven cases brought by and against the former bishop of Harare in his bid over control of the assets of the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA).  The CPCA Bishop of Harare, Dr. Chad Gandiya, reported via email: “Our Supreme Court hearing took place this morning from 9.30 to close to 13.00hrs and finished all the matters. Most of the Kunonga appeals including that of Manicaland were thrown out.”

The bishop said the “Harare matter was heard and the judges reserved judgement” with a decision expected within three months.

In the case of Bishop Elson Madoda Jakazi and another versus The Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa and two others (SC118/10), the high court dismissed the claims of Dr. Kunonga’s ally Bishop Jakazi that he controlled the assets of the Diocese of Manicaland.

On 23 Sept 2007 Bishop Jakazai announced he was pulling his diocese out of the CPCA to join Dr. Kunonga’s “Anglican Church of Zimbabwe”.

However Bishop Jakazi, unlike Dr. Kunonga, tendered his resignation as Bishop of Manicaland when he quit the CPCA.  When the CPCA took Bishop Jakazi to court to regain control of the property the Mutare district court ruled in 2010 the decision to resign ended Bishop Jakazi’s control over diocesan property.  In Harare, Dr. Kunonga did not resign when he quit the CPCA and he has maintained that he is the sole and rightful bishop of Harare.

However, the 2010 court ruling permitted Bishop Jakazi to remain in possession of the Manicland property pending a review of the decision by the Supreme Court.

In the two years that followed the lower court decision, Bishop Jakazi is alleged to have diverted assets from the diocese’s schools and churches and with the collusion of the security services, has driven Anglicans loyal to the new Bishop of Manicaland, Dr. Julius Makoni, from their churches.  Bishop Jakazi, along with Dr. Kunonga, are fervent supports of President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF party.

Dr. Gandiya reported he was “very pleased that its over so quickly. It went very well and we are happy the way it went. This does not mean you stop praying _ please continue to pray as the judges write down their judgement. The end is in sight now -Praise God!”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

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