Bakare to be forced out?

From Anglican Information

The Central African Provincial Synod undertakes Nolbert Kunonga’s work for him?

The synod of the Diocese of Harare, Zimbabwe has petitioned that Bishop Sebastian Bakare be allowed to stay in his caretaker role for a further year. This is to continue his courageous work in standing up to self-proclaimed ‘Archbishop’ Nolbert Kunonga and his Mugabe-backed violent regime.

However, the Provincial Synod has vetoed the request and insisted on new elections for a bishop for Harare in June this year.

This veto has emerged under the oversight of acting Dean of the Province, Albert Chama of Northern Zambia. There is a history stretching back to the now retired former Archbishop Bernard Malango (who was very close to Nolbert Kunonga) of pressure on Bakare due to complicated internal differences associated with the struggles in the wider Anglican Communion. In short it looks like Sebastian Bakare is being pushed out.

Given the nature of the nominating process in Harare there is a now distinct danger that Nolbert Kunonga could promote a candidate of his choice. His own election (overseen by Bernard Malango) was shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Thanks to the Provincial Synod decision, Nolbert Kunonga may yet achieve his avowed ambition to oust his old enemy Sebastian Bakare and replace him with a ‘more suitable’ candidate.

Such a tangled web of interconnected ecclesiastical and political machination is unfortunately characteristic of the Central African Province still under the oversight of Bishop Albert Chama.

Interpersonal episcopal power struggles, that are a mystery to outside observers, continue to defy logic in this troubled Province.

ANGLICAN-INFORMATION reports that in Upper Shire Diocese in Malawi, petitions (including one signed by 24 parishioners from his own church) have been lodged against thirty-year-old Brighton Malasa for ‘drunkenness, embezzlement and adultery’.

At the end of last year Malasa was the surprise choice of the Provincial bishops as new bishop of Upper Shire, despite stiff resistance from priests and people and the fact that he is exceptionally young and inexperienced. The recent Anglican Primates Statement covered by us and many other webcasts, which was critical of Kunonga and the Mugabe regime, is already looking a little jaded and pointless.



  1. I am pleased that NTSS is covering news about Malawi and the Central African Province so thoroughly and coming up with items that seems to get missed out elsewhere. I must say that I am appalled that Bishop Sebastian Bakare, who has stood up to so much, has been put into this situation. Frankly it stinks but so does the whole Zimbabwe mess.

  2. Observer, thank you for your comment but I can't really take the credit. For the most part I just repost Anglican Information material - google alerts rarely pick up much else.

  3. Good for Anglican Information as well, whose web-site I sometimes visit - But good for you too for carrying their releases.

  4. Like 'observer' I follow Anglican Information on their web site and I'm a regular on NTSS which I also appreciate for news and reflections that are often not carried elsewhere.

    This latest Bakare case is interesting. I've quickly researched a bit and notice that Bishop Bakare was involved in the second Court of Confirmation that was necessary after Kunonga got elected. Apparently, Kunonga's name wasn't even on the original electors list but he still got elected and former Archbishop Bernard Malango was, surprise, surprise chairing the election.

    I can see how Kunonga could get a grip on the nominating process that must begin soon in Zimbabwe, given all the intimidation and breakdown of law and order. Anglican Information are right to raise this fear.

    This is a very serious situation and the Central African Province seems to shoot itself in the foot habitually. Or more likely acting Dean Chama is building a power base.

    Where are the voices of the more moderate bishops like Trevor Mwamba of Botswana or James Tengatenga of Malawi or the white bishop Christopher Boyle also of Malawi?

    I hole that this case gets wide coverage, good for NTSS for covering it.

  5. Penwatch, I'd also be happy to carry material from you on the Central African Province - with or without attribution as you prefer - my email is in my Profile at the very foot of the NTSS page.

    Thanks for your comments.