ALL the churches in Harare are now back in the hands of the
Anglican Church, after the Supreme Court judgment two weeks ago
which ruled against the excommunicated bishop, Nolbert Kunonga, in
favour of the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) (
News, 30 November,
23 November). Some outlying churches and other properties are
still to be retrieved.
Violence and police reluctance still persists, however, and the
Bishop of Harare, the Rt Revd Chad Gandiya, reported on Wednesday
that the High Court had still not ruled on the appeal made by
Kunonga after eviction orders were served at his insistence.
Kunonga is citing the indigenisation programme in Zimbabwe, under
which foreign companies must transfer control of at least 51 per
cent of their operations to locals.
The case, which opened on Tuesday of last week, went on all day,
and was resumed the next day. "We cannot believe the judge is
entertaining this nonsense," Bishop Gandiya said. He described
spirits in the diocese as "dampened, but not crushed".
A CPCA priest, the Revd Naboth Manzonga, was attacked on
Saturday night at his church in the Tafara district, by the rogue
priest who had been occupying his house. "It just shows we have to
be vigilant all the time," Bishop Gandiya said.
Elsewhere, thugs with chains have attacked priests and
parishioners who are involved in reclaiming the buildings. An
eyewitness report on Nehanda Radio described Kunonga wielding a gun
and threatening journalists outside the cathedral.
Incidents of resistance and violence are being monitored by
parishioners on the diocese of Harare's Facebook page. Positive
signs, Bishop Gandiya said, were that the state media no longer
supported Kunonga. There is also joy at the retrieval of St Mary's
Cathedral, where the Sunday service this week was packed to
overflowing with worshippers.
Plans are well advanced for the mass celebration in Africa Unity
Square, on 16 December, which will precede the cleansing and re-
dedication of the building. The main worshipping space was found to
be in fair condition when access was finally gained, but the
offices had been turned into business premises where Kunonga's
daughter had been running a crèche.
"People have been living in the vestries, even in the
sanctuary," Bishop Gandiya said. "That's such a violation of sacred
There are indications that people from all over the world will
be at the celebrations on 16 December. "We never take anything for
granted, though. It's not over till it's over," Bishop Gandiya
said. He has received permission from the city authorities for the
event, but not yet from the police.