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Silence on Kunonga

02 November 2006

THE ANGLICAN Church in Zimbabwe is suffering the consequences of the silence of the Archbishop of Central Africa, Dr Bernard Malango, over the case of the Bishop of Harare, one of the parishioners at Harare Cathedral, Pauline Makoni, warned this week.

The Bishop, the Rt Revd Nolbert Kunonga, a Mugabe apologist, is charged with 38 offences, including incitement to murder (News, 5 December), but the required Provincial Hearing has apparently not yet been arranged by the Archbishop. Mrs Makoni has written to Dr Malango about reports of threats and action taken against priests who had signed a petition of charges against Bishop Kunonga, and has “respectfully” asked him to confirm a date for the hearing.

Clergy had been “left puzzled” by comments from the Bishop of Lusaka, the Rt Revd Leonard Mwenda, on a retreat in January, that a Provincial Hearing had never been heard of, and that the Archbishop had spoken to all those who had petitioned for it, said Mrs Makoni. Bishop Mwenda had “advised them that he was a lawyer, and cautioned that he would deny having said anything that was not in the written report he had left at the retreat”, she said.

“Most disturbing . . . is the impression that appears to be formulating in people’s minds and being further cemented by the silence from the province, that the province is not willing to hold this hearing and have resolution,” she writes. She urges the Archbishop to “allay these doubts and fears” by indicating when the hearing is to be.

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