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Bishops plea for justice from Robert Mugabe: The Church of England Newspaper, September 9, 2012 p 3 September 10, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Central Africa, Zimbabwe.
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Zimbabwe’s Anglican bishops have appealed to President Robert Mugabe to enforce the rule of law in the Central African nation and end police support for former Harare Nolbert Kunonga.

Last week the Bishops Cleophas Lunga of Matabeleland, Julius Makoni of Manicaland, Godfrey Tawonezvi of Masvingo and Ishmael Mukuwanda of Central Zimbabwe wrote to President Mugabe asking him to intervene in the case of Daramombe Mission in Chivhu in the Diocese of Masvingo.

They asked the president “members of the Government of National Unity, Home Affairs co-ministers and the Police Commissioner-General to intervene in this matter where innocent and peace-loving worshippers are being driven out of their church buildings for no  legitimate reason.”

“As Anglican Bishops in Zimbabwe in the Church of the Province of Central Africa, we wish to express our dismay at the continued harassment of the faithful in the Diocese of Masvingo. What happened to freedom of worship in Zimbabwe,” they asked.

The bishops said that a court had held ruled the Daramombe Mission in the Diocese of Chivu was not part of the properties claimed by Dr. Kunonga as it was not part of the Diocese of Harare when he served as its bishop.  However, Dr. Kunonga’s supporters had seized the church with the support of local police officials and driven out Anglicans loyal to the Church of the Province of Central Africa.

“What Kunonga is using to hoodwink the police are title deeds which he illegally refused to surrender to the Diocese of Masvingo at its formation. We are also disturbed that the police have taken sides. They are the ones who are in the forefront when our members are evicted from their church buildings,” the bishop said.

During his meeting with President Mugabe in 2011, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams pressed him to intervene in the Dr. Kunonga affair and uphold the power of the courts.  The protestations, however, appear not to have swayed the octogenarian Zimbabwe strongman as sources inside the country continue to report harassment by the security services of Anglicans.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.