Harare — AS the rift in the Anglican Church continues, a priest at St Columbus Parish in Kuwadzana allegedly stoned a policeman trying to restrain the two factions involved in the fight for control the church.
Constable Lancelot Kanaveti of Kuwadzana Police Station sustained a cut on the head and was taken to hospital for treatment.
Reverend Augustine Dizara (39) of the Bakare faction last Friday appeared before Mbare magistrate Ms Marehwanazvo Gofa charged with assault.
He was remanded out of custody to June 3 for trial on US$20 bail after he pleaded not guilty to the charge. Officials at the Mbare court told The Herald that more than 20 church members from the Bakare faction were fined at Kuwadzana Police Station in connection with the same incident before Dizara was taken to court.
Prosecutor Mr Kudakwashe Tagwirei alleges that on May 21, some women from the Kunonga faction were conducting Thursday prayer meetings at the church.
At around 2pm, it is alleged, women from the Bakare faction arrived at the church with the intention of holding a prayer meeting after the Kunonga faction had finished theirs.
Cst Kanaveti was among three police officers who were deployed at the church to maintain peace and order as the worshippers shared time slots to conduct their services in line with a court order.
It is the State's case that the group of worshippers from the Bakare faction entered the chapel while the Kunonga faction's prayer meeting was still in progress and tried to forcibly get them out before they finished.
The court heard that police were called to intervene and calm the potentially riotous situation in the church. Police ordered all the worshippers from the two factions to vacate the premises after they had failed to share the time slots peacefully, a decision which allegedly did not go down well with Dizara.
It is the State's case that when the worshippers were at the main gate, Dizara picked up a stone and hit Cst Kanaveti on the head, seriously injuring him.
I wonder whether the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe will continue to be called the 'Bakare faction' by the government mouthpiece after Bakare has gone.