Anglican priests being forced from church property in Zimbabwe

Published 24 August 2011
Priests in Harare are being ordered out of church property by priests loyal to the excommunicated bishop Dr Nolbert Kunonga.

Kunonga's supporters have already forced the Rev Dzikamai Mudenda, his wife and their extended family, to leave St James Mabvuku in Harare.

It comes just weeks after the high court ruled that Dr Kunonga had interim custody of all church properties, despite these belonging to the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA).

Stamped copies of the high court judgement have been sent to priests living in parish rectories across the Diocese of Harare. In one case, police accompanied Dr Kunonga's supporters as they delivered the letter.

The Bishop of Harare, the Rt Rev Chad Gandiya, said that alternative accommodation had been found for Rev Mudenda and that preparations were being made in anticipation of more priests being evicted.

“Our parishes are busy finding alternative accommodation for them,” he said.

“We don’t know who he is going to put in these houses. This is not going to be easy at all. It will disrupt their family life and ministry.

"I have been busy this evening getting in touch with my priests and encouraging them.”

He continued: “Kunonga was given custodianship of CPCA properties when he no longer a member of our church and province and he is now evicting CPCA priests and we don’t know who he is going to put in these houses. God help us.”

Dr Kunonga, a close ally of Robert Mugabe, was excommunicated in 2007 and has since waged a campaign of intimidation against the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe.

With the support of police, Kunonga and his supporters have broken up church services and seized CPCA church property.

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