Direct from NewsDay, 28 August
MASVINGO — Embattled Anglican Church leader Chad Gandiya’s subordinates last week appealed for President Robert Mugabe’s intervention over the alleged continued harassment of their followers by members of a faction led by excommunicated church leader Nobert Kunonga.
The church leaders lamented their continued eviction from Anglican Church buildings in most parts of the country by Kunonga’s followers even though the matter was still before the courts.
The Bishop of Masvingo
Part of the letter reads: “We are, therefore, appealing to President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency President RG Mugabe, members of the Government of National Unity, Home Affairs co-ministers and the Police Commissioner-General to intervene in this matter where innocent and peace-loving worshippers are being driven out of their church buildings for no legitimate reason.
"As Anglican Bishops in Zimbabwe in the Church of the Province of Central, we wish to express our dismay at the continued harassment of the faithful in the Diocese of Masvingo. What happened to freedom of worship in Zimbabwe?”
The letter was co-signed by Anglican bishops Cleophas Lunga (Matabeleland), Julius Makoni (Manicaland), Godfrey Tawonezvi (Masvingo) and Ishmael Mukuwanda of the Diocese of Central Africa and Anglican Church worshippers at Daramombe Mission in Chivhu.
The bishops said despite a court judgment clearly indicating that the Chivhu church was not within Kunonga’s jurisdiction since September 1, 2001, the latter, with the assistance of the police, had continued to evict members belonging to the Gandiya faction from the building.
“What Kunonga is using to hoodwink the police are title deeds which he illegally refused to surrender to the Diocese of Masvingo at its formation. We are also disturbed that the police have taken sides. They are the ones who are in the forefront when our members are evicted from their church buildings."
However, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena said he was not aware of the alleged disturbances in Chivhu.
“For now I am unable to comment,” Bvudzijena said.
He may be unable to comment, but he can scarcely by unaware of the issue.