More violence in Zimbabwe

From the Zimbabwe Times

This is a rehash of an earlier story. However it's worth reproducing it here in part because it adds some detail but mostly because of the partisan nature of the reporting.

The Zimbabwe Times hasn't often delivered stories on the Anglican Church. This may account for its description of background circumstances. If not it's simple misrepresentation though whether that represents the ignorance of the reporter, the attitude of the paper's editor, or the opinions of the person who told the paper the story is impossible to tell. I'd guess the latter.

For those new to the issue: no 'faction' is urging the ordination of gay priests in Zimbabwe.

Church divided over ordination of gays

May 7, 2009

By Our Correspondent

MUTARE - A dispute over the ordaining of gay priests has torn apart the Anglican Church here resulting in bloody battles involving senior members of the church and the arrest of five parishioners, including a prominent businesswoman.

In the latest incident a clergyman and his wife were brutally assaulted by assailants allegedly hired by senior members of the church.

Reverend Basil Matikiti and wife, Delight, were rushed to hospital after they sustained serious injuries during an attack by a large group of assailants at a parish in Chikanga high density suburb. Matikiti belongs to a faction of the Anglican Church in Mutare that is opposed to the ordination of gay priests.

He and his wife were attacked as they prepared for morning service on Sunday at St Agnes Parish Church in Chikanga, a sprawling high density suburb.

A senior police officer, Inspector Florence Marume, who was dispatched to quell the violence, was herself abducted and also assaulted.

Five senior church members have since been arrested and charged with committing acts of violence against Matikiti and his wife.

Those charged are Portia Magada, the prominent businesswoman, Manyara Mwendamberi, Conrad Rindai Ritsire, Delia Mutseyekwa and Taurai Makoni. They are out on bail.

Several other senior church members as well as some of the alleged assailants who participated in the violence are said to be in hiding.

Matikiti said the alleged assailants attacked him after he refused to open the church gate for them to enter. He said they broke the gate and entered the churchyard where they allegedly proceeded to assault him, while shouting obscenities.

The incident was a sequel to violent clashes between the rival groups in Sakubva, Mutare’s oldest township, as well as in the town of Nyanga and at Bonda Mission, both north of the eastern border city.

The violent incidents have all been blamed on a faction that is campaigning for the ordination of gay priests in the Anglican Church.

The police confirmed the violent incidents at St Agnes in Chikanga saying they had arrested some of the alleged perpetrators of the violence. Police spokesperson, Brian Makomeke said the alleged assailants had attacked Matikiti with various objects.

“His shirt was torn to pieces and his wife was also assaulted,” Makomeke said.

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