'A voice for the voiceless in the Anglican Province of Central Africa'

Friday, 18 December 2009

Nolbert Kunonga creates more trouble in time for Christmas and the New Year in Zimbabwe

Merry Christmas to you all!

FROM ANGLICAN-INFORMATION: We have been asked to cover two items reproduced below. The first covers a meeting of the churchwardens of the Diocese of Harare and the second is a letter from Bishop Chad Gandiya.

It has been reported in the wider media that 'President' Robert Mugabe is preparing his party Zanu-PF for new elections in the Spring of 2010. The prospect of another fixed election, this time to try and shake off Morgan Tsvangerai and the MDF opposition from the current power sharing arrangements is daunting.

suggests that the new outbreak of Nolbert Kunonga inspired disruption and violence against Anglican Christians in the Diocese of Harare is linked to these plans.

Diocese of Manicaland:
Some trouble has also been experienced at the instigation of Kunonga ally dissident bishop Elson Jakazi who is opposing the new CPCA bishop Julius Makoni. There has been reported trouble at St David's, Bonda to the north of Mutare. Thus far the disruption does not match that in Harare.

Diocese of Lake Malawi:
The court injunction brought against the CPCA bishops preventing them from confirming or consecrating the Venerable Francis Kaulanda is to be heard in January. The injunction has been brought on behalf of an unprecedented number of lay objectors.

Pray for rain:
The rainy season is off to a poor start in the region. Whilst world leaders squabble in affluent Copenhagen, and largely fail to offer a significant reduction in climate changing economic activity, subsistence farmers in the Central African Province anxiously watch the skies for increasingly unpredictable but life-giving rain.

Two reports from Zimbabwe

From: The Diocese of Harare CPCA - 5th December 2009

‘The Police at it again!

Having received disturbing news about the plans to disrupt our services on
Sunday the 6th November by Kunonga and his priests, we called an emergency
meeting of our churchwardens in the diocese. We felt that it was necessary
for the church officials to meet at our diocesan office for a briefing. They
all came in spite of the short notice. We briefed them about what we had
heard. Mr Chingore, our registrar explained the situation to them
emphasizing their legal rights. Some of the parishes had already experienced
disruptions to scheduled weddings and other programmes that they had in
place. Our people were very upset about the recurrence of police
interference in church affairs. In the face of the current court ruling on
the use of church buildings, the police would appear, in terms to be
taking their orders from Kunonga. We encouraged our people to be vigilant
and to keep the law authorities informed about any threats and potential
conflicts in their parishes. We encouraged them not to take the law into
their own hands. At the same time we told them to stand up for their rights
and to keep everyone informed’.

From: The Rt Rev’d Dr. Chad Gandiya
2nd Sunday in Advent - 6th December 2009

‘I started receiving calls from our clergy about heavy police presence on
church premises. The police claimed to have orders to stop all our services
from today onwards. Mr. Chingore, our diocesan registrar, was bombarded by
telephone calls from our clergy who wanted to know what to do and why they
were being barred from using their churches. The police were literally
enforcing an order to prevent our people from worshipping today. I was due
to conduct a confirmation service at St Michaels Church in Mbare high
density suburb at 11.30am. The parish priest there telephoned to say we
could not use the building because the police had told them not to do so. He
wondered if they should find another venue. I told him not to and that I was
going to try and see the police commissioner. The diocesan registrar
telephoned me in order to brief me about the turn of events in the parishes.
We agreed that we should go to the Harare Central Police Station and see the
police commissioner on duty and seek clarification to the ugly turn of
events. She was not in the office. Her subordinate called her and we were
able to speak with her on our cell phone. She claimed that the police were
in our churches to maintain law and order. She admitted that Kunonga had
told them that the diocesan properties belonged to his group and that we
were not supposed to use them. This was in spite of both the fact that the
police have Justice Makarawu's court ruling that we should share the
buildings until the case was brought to the high court and our appeal
against judge Hlatshwayo's ruling which had given our diocesan properties to
Kunonga. The registrar explained the situation to her and asked her to
clarify how and when the police started taking orders from Kunonga. She
insisted that there was no order from higher up in the police force or
government to stop us from using our buildings. The registrar requested her
to command her police officers stopping our people from using their
buildings to leave. The order took a while to filter down. I was able to
conduct my confirmation service much, much later. There was much ululating
when the police were leaving and the patient and determined Christians
started singing 'Onward Christian soldiers' as they danced their way into
the church. We confirmed 89 people.

The faith, commitment and courage of the people of this diocese is very
humbling and encouraging indeed. I can openly state that in spite of the
disturbances and hardships our people are facing, there is a revival taking
place in our church.

We are very concerned that according to the police officers the orders to
disrupt our services and stop us from using our churches are coming from the
Commissioner General himself. We are equally concerned that the police seem
to be taking orders from Kunonga. Our people are observing the law regarding
the sharing of buildings for worship but the police are treating them as
criminals for observing the law. Does this mean that our police have nothing
else to do and so they have to occupy themselves by preventing us from
worshipping God in our church buildings?

We are asking all our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Communion to
continue praying for us. We are asking our brothers and sisters in other
denominations and ZCC (The Zimbabwe Council of Churches) to remember us in
their prayers and support us in our struggle for justice. Today it is us,
who knows who might be next?’

+Chad Harare.


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Monday, 7 December 2009

Renegade former Bishop Nolbert Kunonga stirs more trouble in Zimbabwe

Not quite toothless - 'Archbishop' Nolbert Kunonga


We have been asked to publish the following from Trish McKenzie in Harare, Zimbabwe raising further concerns at the actions of renegade self-styled 'Archbishop' Nolbert Kunonga. Kunonga was formerly Bishop of Harare and a close associate of former Archbishop Bernard Malango before breaking away from the Province. Prior to his original election to the Diocese of Harare, Kunonga was a lecturer at the Unification Church (Moonie) seminary in Barrytown, New York where he was awarded his doctorate.

For a documented example of Kunonga's recent actions at St Clare's, Mangwende, visit our companion blogsite: http://notthesamestream.blogspot.com

Trish McKenzie reports:
'Dr Nolbert Kunonga is again trying to destabilize the diocese by invading various churches and interrupting confirmations, weddings and other legitimate activities in contravention of various judgments handed down since 19 January 2008 and subsequent appeals by the Diocese of Harare CPCA where the judgments have been adverse. The Bishop, Dean, priests and parishioners are determined to continue holding their services at the times permitted in terms of the Makarau Judgment of January 2008. Please continue to pray for justice and an end of the harassment by Kunonga'.

And more details from Avondale Parish:



Over the last two weeks, and at intervals recently, Dr Kunonga has
again interfered with the parishes in this diocese in contravention of
the judgments that have been handed down over a period of time since
January 19 2008 and in an attempt to destabilize the diocese. The
following are some of the incidents that have occurred:

Saturday 28 November 2009: St Clare’s Church Murewa: The police
entered the church as Bishop Chad was about to administer the elements
and drove everyone out of the church. When asked why the reply was
“political”. The incident is being pursued with the Officer in Command
of DESPO in Marondera as the officer-in-charge at Murewa had no right
to interfere with the service.

On Sunday 29 November during the Confirmation Service at Kuwadzana the
congregation was ordered out of the church by the police and the
service was held in the open. The Police did not assist us in
preventing the parishioners being forced out of the church by Kunonga
thereby disobeying the court order and not upholding the judgment.

Tafara: The parishioners have been informed by a letter posted at the
church that Dr Kunonga will be holding one service all day on Sunday 6
December 2009. This is in contravention of the Makarau Judgement
permitting CPCA priests to hold services ninety minutes after those
held by Kunonga’s priests.

Church of the Transfiguration Warren Park: The parishioners have been
informed the only one service will be held on Sunday 6 December by
Kunonga from 0800-1700 hours and members of CPCA may attend if they
wish. Again contravention of the Makarau judgement.

St Faith’s Budariro: Three weddings were due to be held last week.
Some of the known supporters of Kunonga entered the church after the
first wedding and said that there is a new chapter beginning and
people can only attend their services and not those of CPCA.

Glenview: A competition was supposed to be held by a cell phone
service company today 5 December 2009. Permission was granted as
Kunonga people never use the church on a Saturday. When the PR lady
was supervising the erection of the marquee she was told that Kunonga
would be at the church all day and the event has been cancelled. The
priest and parishioners have been stopped from using the church.

St Elizabeth’s Belvedere: Were due to have a fete today which has been
well publicized. The police were informed in advance but when the
person appointed to liaise with the police went to check yesterday he
was told that Kunonga would be having a fete today and that the church
was booked in advance of CPCA booking the church. In addition the
doors have been bolted from inside and the lock changed on the gate.

Hatfield: On Friday 4 December two or three visitors went to see Rev
Zhou and informed him that they wanted to use the church all day on 5
and 6 December. There however are two weddings booked and they were
informed that they could use the facilities after the weddings but on
Sunday the Salvation Army use the church after CPCA and therefore it
would not be available.

St Paul’s Marlborough: On Sunday 29 November Munyani and six priests
went to St Paul’s just before the start of the 0700 service and called
the priest out and told him to tell the parishioners to go home and
come back at 1230 hours in contravention of the court ruling. The
Kunonga priest was called as there is a written agreement with him. He
was told that he should not have agreed without permission from the
Head Office (Kunonga).

Bishop Gaul College: On Friday 4 December Kunonga and two others went
to the College with a bunch of keys. The ordinands were told that
Kunonga would “come like a whirlwind to the College”.

The diocese is not taking these contraventions lightly and will be
pursue through the courts any attempt by Kunonga to prevent the
legitimate services being held.

The Bishop, Dean, priests, wardens and parishioners are determined to
continue with the services at the times that they have been holding
them in accordance with the Makarau Judgment and will not tolerate
the breaching of the court orders by the Police.

Please continue to pray for the diocese for strength and wisdom to
overcome the evil that is being perpetrated.

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