HARARE – Excommunicated Bishop Nolbert Kunonga will today know whether he has legal ownership of church properties he wrestled from Anglican Church in Harare.
A full-bench of the Supreme Court of Appeal will today deliver judgment on the main case, involving the control of Anglican Church property in Harare, including the Cathedral.
Kunonga withdrew from the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) and was excommunicated as the Bishop of Harare.
He then made himself the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Zimbabwe and proceeded to expropriate church properties.
A staunch supporter of President Robert Mugabe and the ruling Zanu PF party, Kunonga has secured support in his takeover of church property from Zimbabwe’s security services.
The CPCA asked the court to restrain Kunonga. However, rulings directing him 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.
Kunonga forcibly took over church buildings, orphanages, mission schools and hospitals resulting in a court challenge by the rival Chad Gandiya-led CPCA.
The Supreme Court ruled that Kunonga’s take-over was illegal. It ruled that properties in Manicaland should be returned to the Anglican Church. And a decision on Harare properties will be made today.
Kunonga watched in horror early this month as five of his appeals were thrown out in a ruling that was met with jubilation by members of CPCA.
However, Kunonga has defiantly refused to comply with the court ruling to return Anglican properties he seized in the dioceses of Manicaland, forcing Anglican congregations to worship in the open air or in borrowed or rented buildings.
The Supreme Court seals the case today.