‘A voice for the voiceless in the Anglican Central African Province’
Something to smile about? Nolbert Kunonga, self-styled 'Archbishop of Zimbabwe'
ANGLICAN-INFORMATION reports from Zimbabwe that now Dr Chad Gandiya has been safely installed as the new Bishop of Harare, and Julius Makomi elected Bishop of Manicaland, stories are emerging of how some of their fellow bishops in the Province of Central Africa might deal with the seemingly intractable problem of renegade former bishops Nolbert Kunonga of Harare and Elson Jakazi of Manicaland.
One option supposedly being considered is modelled on the ‘power sharing’ agreement in place politically between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. This would involve an eventual rehabilitation of Kunonga and Jakazi and some kind of reincorporation together with their priests into the Provincial structure.
ANGLICAN-INFORMATION observes that this idea is not only unwise, the fact that it is possible that it has even been considered borders on the insane. It also lacks any integrity and recognition of the struggle on the part of faithful and loyal priests and people in the dioceses of Harare and Manicaland. It would be hard to reconcile such a policy with the history of violence and intimidation that has come from the Kunonga camp towards faithful Christians in the past few years.
The background to this extraordinary story does however shed some light and explain how it has gained provenance. The current acting Dean of the Province, Bishop Albert Chama of Northern Zambia (who is a prospective candidate amongst at least three of the bishops for the position of next Archbishop of the Province) was appointed after the sacking of Bishop Trevor Mwamba of Botswana by the then outgoing Archbishop Bernard Malango in September 2007. Chama has always been close to Malango and Malango in turn was indisputably a benefactor and patron of Nolbert Kunonga whom he infamously absolved without trial for accusations brought against Kunonga, including incitement to murder, in late 2005.
Here is the link in that it is supposed that Malango is still influential, still has connections with Kunonga and would like to see his old friend reinstated in some way.
On the other hand speaking on SW Africa Radio on 15th August, Bishop Trevor Mwamba stated clearly that Kunonga is neither part of the Central African Province nor is he in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury (a definition of Anglican orthodoxy).
ANGLICAN-INFORMATION says that it is essential that the Central African bishops clarify definitively their future plans for the dioceses of Harare and Manicaland and their bishops. That they publicly distance themselves from the rumours of longer-term potential collaboration with the Kunonga faction and that there is a clear statement from former Archbishop Bernard Malango about what exactly constitutes his on-going relationship with Nolbert Kunonga? In the absence of such clarifications people will inevitably assume the worst.
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