Kunonga camp at it again
HARARE – Anglicans yesterday failed to celebrate Mass at two parishes in Harare after bishops aligned to disgraced clergyman Nolbert Kunonga locked out parishioners.
Members of Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) failed to hold their church service after Raymond Makiwa of St James Mabvuku Parish and one Mukariri of St Philips Tafara Parish bolted the church premises.
At St Columbus Kuwadzana Parish, Bishop Takokera Tandi reportedly threatened to beat up CPCA church wardens Felix Tashaya and Anthony Kanyama.
The two were forced to call in riot police to control the situation.
Precious Shumba, spokesperson of Anglican Harare Diocese, said church members were forced to hold services elsewhere.
“We understand there was resistance from Kunonga’s sympathisers who denied our members from Mabvuku and Tafara entry into the church for Mass service,” Shumba told the Daily News.
“To avoid trouble, our members did hold their services somewhere not at our churches. I understand the church is in the process of organising eviction orders for the two members of Kunonga faction to vacate our premises.”
Shumba said in other parishes, Anglican Church members of the CPCA led by Bishop Chad Gandiya managed to hold their church services without any incident.
“CPCA members across the Harare diocese have been allowed to conduct church and Mass services without any problems. We are not using the altar until we have held our cleansing ceremony next month,” Shumba said.
“Our parishes held their two church services in the morning around 7am and 9am at the parishes. I am at Mbare St Michael Parish where our church members are in a celebratory mood after the victory we had over Kunonga. The church services were conducted smoothly.”
Shumba said Gandiya is in the process of visiting parishes in the Harare diocese to assess the situation. Yesterday, he visited St Faith Parish in Budiriro, and St Paul’s Marlborough and a church service was held in the church.
“Bishop Gandiya is overwhelmed by the response he is getting from the Anglicans who are happy to be worshipping in their churches again,” he said.
“I know the bishop attended church in Budiriro and Marlborough in the morning but on Saturday he was at Mhondoro St Michael’s Parish, where he presided over confirmation of 70 new members in Mhondoro including Chief Mubaira, who has become our church member.
“I understand they did not use the church because it could not accommodate the people who had come and attended the service, welcoming Bishop Gandiya.”
The Supreme Court ruled last week that Kunonga had no title to Anglican property and must hand back all property to CPCA.
The ruling has brought peace and tranquillity in the church except for a few pockets of resistance and residual elements in Kunonga’s faction who are failing to come to terms with the ruling.