Christmas for Zimbabwean Anglicans

Bishop Chad Gandiya

Titus on Mission continues to bring up-to-date news from Zimbabwe. Over the last month he has recorded:

December 5 - Harare Diocese conflict intensifies, Bp. Gandiya “very concerned”

December 9 - Police bar Harare Anglican churches on Advent 2, yet bishop sees “revival”

December 14 - Church disruptions continue in Harare Diocese in Advent 3

December 14 - New Manicaland bishop wrestles with conflict, threats and depleted finances

December 15 - Harare police disruptions “painful, cruel and pathetic,” but court rules in CPCA diocese’s favor

December 25 - “Alarming disturbances and developments” besiege Harare Anglicans at Christmas

You might see a pattern. In the latest of these posts Bishop Gandiya writes;

It looks like our people are not going to be able to worship in their churches on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year. It brings home the situation that prevailed at the time of Lord’s birth. No room at the Inn!
Further messages from Bishop Gandiya are reported verbatim in SW Radio Africa here. On 23 December the Bishop had gone to St Clare's Mission only to find the Church occupied. Therefore the Bishop decided to hold an open air service although, at the last minute (and having informed the police of their plans) they were able to move into the Church. However,

As I was doing the thanksgiving prayer the dean noticed the police walking outside and he went out to see them and was not allowed back in the church. He and the churchwarden who had accompanied us to the police were detained in one of the police vehicles. There were about 10 policemen and 6 of Kunonga’s priests.

Just before we distributed the communion elements the police walked in and started driving people out of the building. They also asked us to vacate the building and so we quickly and unceremoniously cleared the altar and went outside. I tried to ask why they were driving the people out of the church but they just kept doing it.

The Zimbabwe Mail has a Christmas Eve report on the situation

In Mbare, Kuwadzana, Tafara, Warren Park, Budiriro, Glen View, Belvedere, Hatfield and Marlborough, riot police locked the doors of churches to keep worshippers out.

The disruptions, engineered by ousted Zanu-PF-affiliated Anglican bishop Nolbert Kunonga, is in contemptuous breach of a High Court judgement by Justice Rita Makarau, who ruled that the churches were to be shared between the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) and the breakaway Anglican province set up by Kunonga, the former Bishop of Harare.
A report (December 23rd) of a Christmas truce seems over-optimistic.

I wish everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas - so long as you understand this is intended to fly in the face of actual experience.


The view from the other side

From The Chronicle (Harare)

Anglicans used as regime change tools
By E L Mukwereza

.... I am convinced beyond doubt that the British and American politicians are using our local Anglican bishops, priests, deacons and parishioners as tools for their entrenched regime change thrusts with the help of MDC movements.

... our two inspired bishops in this country voiced their abhorrence against homosexuality to the members of their "club" or 'association' called Province of Central Africa. They were there and then deemed to have been 'banned' or 'ex-communicated.'

... Having satisfied themselves falsely, they illegally appointed some long retired bishops to replace the bishops of Harare and Manicaland who had been procedurally, canonically and in accordance with the operative Acts of their Dioceses, enthroned.

The two illegally enthroned Bishops then high-jacked local gullible priests and laymen and women to follow them and subsequently made their church wardens, servers, church choir and structures of the Mothers' Union.

In the meantime, they claimed that they were the proper Anglican leaders from God. This caused dissent, confusion, misunderstandings, invasions and violence in the Diocese of Harare and Manicaland.

... Let us wake up and reposition ourselves and reconsider our paths — whether this is good for us and our God-fearing country or not. Your legitimate bishops in Harare and Mutare are there waiting for you to come back to your original faith and church. Not to that tainted with homosexuality and regime change policies and politics.

I don't suppose too many who read this here will flock to return to support Konunga.

It is always interesting to know just what the other side are saying and the rhetoric is interesting: legitimate Anglicans are disloyal, even treacherous, homosexual in fact or allegiance, misled and misinformed.

On the other hand Konunga faction are, above all, loyal to the regime. Now there's a pitch.

Last version of the Covenant released

On December 18th a revised version of the Ridley-Cambridge Covenant was sent to Provinces around the world with an accompanying letter (.pdf) from Canon Kearon. There was also a video message from Rowan Williams.

On a very quick read of the critical Section 4 (which the ACC had sent back for reconsideration) the first impressions are that
  • the autonomy of each Province has been reinforced (4.1.3)

  • procedures under the Covenant have become much more generalised and will require more work behind bureaucratic doors for implementation (e.g. 4.1.5 on recognising other Churches which might adopt the Covenant)

  • What used to be the (fairly recently created) Joint Standing Committee of the ACC and Primates Meeting is now referred to as The Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion (4.2.2).

  • And the Covenant, by preferring generalisations over the more forensic clarity of earlier the Nassau draft (though this remained inadequate), would give large swathes of discretionary power to this Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion.

  • Therefore the ACC is marginalised except as being the electorate for junior members of the SC of the AC.

  • The mealy mouthed phrase 'relational consequences' (4.2.4; 4.2.7) for those who do not conform to the wishes of the SC of the AC seems to imply the instutitionalisation of layers of impaired communion on the route to expulsion.

The Nassau draft proposed a semi-legal process of judgement on a province with the possibility of expulsion as punishment. This version is taking a more traditional Anglican approach. It's giving competing reassurances to everyone; it's retaining a penal process but in broad-brush terms; and, as a consequence, its giving such powers as the Covenant contains to committees and bureaucrats.

Co-ordinating canon law seems to have gone, though I may not have read carefully enough to be sure on that.

I still see no budget.

Over Christmas I'll try to read it again and produce a further and more careful critique but my gut feeling is that because it has become more amorphous it will be all the harder to defeat.

Whether this will persuade the GAFCON crowd to sign up we will have to see.

I'm still backing 3 groupings as the probable outcome: one, centred on the US with Canada, Brazil, Mexico and possibly others; GAFCON provinces; and everyone else who doesn't want to lose the connection to Canterbury. And I predict there will be some overlapping memberberships.

Court backs Gandiya

From the Sunday Mail (Harare)

Court bars police from interfering with parishioners
By Tafadzwa Chiremba

THE High Court has granted a provisional order barring the police from interfering with activities of parishioners aligned to Bishop Chad Gandiya of the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA).

The court said the worshippers should be allowed to use the church’s facilities without interference from the police. It also ordered police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and the co-Ministers of Home Affairs Cde Kembo Mohadi and Mr Giles Mutsekwa to stop directing the police to interfere with the parishioners.

Cde Chihuri was found in contempt of court for violating an earlier order granted by Justice Rita Makarau allowing the sharing of church properties between Archbishop Nolbert Kunonga and his rivals.

The latest ruling brings to an end fights that had been erupting between followers of Archbishop Kunonga and those of Bishop Gandiya over the use of church properties.

more here.

Of course this brings nothing to an end. One step forwards, two steps back. The law is only as effective as it is capable of enforcement - and when the police and other enforcement agencies place obedience to political masters above obedience to the courts the law is completely impotent.

The maxim that law needs force is true everywhere. Which is why the attitude of successive British Home Secretaries and Immigration Ministers to the judgements of the courts in relation to asylum is so profoundly disturbing: they have effectively subordinated the English legal system to the whim of politicians, often denying claimants justice.

Conversely force needs law for legitimacy - hence the deep betrayals of the 45-minute dossier and the Attorney General's legal opinion on the lawfulness of the Iraq war and also the suppression of enquiries into corruption in BAE systems (now, I think, being re-opened).

Zimbabwe, like so many other countries, is in the grip of a powerful faction which rules by terror in the sole interests of retaining power. But what repeatedly impresses me about Zimbabweans is their tenacious grip on the belief in the rule of law and the possibility of justice. Despite all the evidence, at the end of the newspaper report -

The Dean of the Anglican Cathedral, Rev Farai Mutamiri of the CPCA faction, said they were using the premises based on Justice Makarau’s judgment.

“We are co-sharing the premises as was granted by Justice Makarau last year. It is also mind-boggling why police would enforce a court order when it is supposed to be the messenger of court aided by the police,” said Rev Mutamiri.


Nolbert Kunonga creates more trouble in time for Christmas and the New Year in Zimbabwe


We have been asked to cover two items reproduced below. The first covers a meeting of the churchwardens of the Diocese of Harare and the second is a letter from Bishop Chad Gandiya.

Father Christmas brings good cheer in Zimbabwe

It has been reported in the wider media that 'President' Robert Mugabe is preparing his party Zanu-PF for new elections in the Spring of 2010. The prospect of another fixed election, this time to try and shake off Morgan Tsvangerai and the MDF opposition from the current power sharing arrangements is daunting.

suggests that the new outbreak of Nolbert Kunonga inspired disruption and violence against Anglican Christians in the Diocese of Harare is linked to these plans.

Diocese of Manicaland:
Some trouble has also been experienced at the instigation of Kunonga ally dissident bishop Elson Jakazi who is opposing the new CPCA bishop Julius Makoni. There has been reported trouble at St David's, Bonda to the north of Mutare. Thus far the disruption does not match that in Harare.

Diocese of Lake Malawi:
The court injunction brought against the CPCA bishops preventing them from confirming or consecrating the Venerable Francis Kaulanda is to be heard in January. The injunction has been brought on behalf of an unprecedented number of lay objectors.

Pray for rain:
The rainy season is off to a poor start in the region. Whilst world leaders squabble in affluent Copenhagen, and largely fail to offer a significant reduction in climate changing economic activity, subsistence farmers in the Central African Province anxiously watch the skies for increasingly unpredictable but life-giving rain.

Two reports from Zimbabwe

From: The Diocese of Harare CPCA - 5th December 2009

‘The Police at it again!

Having received disturbing news about the plans to disrupt our services on
Sunday the 6th November by Kunonga and his priests, we called an emergency
meeting of our churchwardens in the diocese. We felt that it was necessary
for the church officials to meet at our diocesan office for a briefing. They
all came in spite of the short notice. We briefed them about what we had
heard. Mr Chingore, our registrar explained the situation to them
emphasizing their legal rights. Some of the parishes had already experienced
disruptions to scheduled weddings and other programmes that they had in
place. Our people were very upset about the recurrence of police
interference in church affairs. In the face of the current court ruling on
the use of church buildings, the police would appear, in terms to be
taking their orders from Kunonga. We encouraged our people to be vigilant
and to keep the law authorities informed about any threats and potential
conflicts in their parishes. We encouraged them not to take the law into
their own hands. At the same time we told them to stand up for their rights
and to keep everyone informed’.

From: The Rt Rev’d Dr. Chad Gandiya
2nd Sunday in Advent - 6th December 2009

‘I started receiving calls from our clergy about heavy police presence on
church premises. The police claimed to have orders to stop all our services
from today onwards. Mr. Chingore, our diocesan registrar, was bombarded by
telephone calls from our clergy who wanted to know what to do and why they
were being barred from using their churches. The police were literally
enforcing an order to prevent our people from worshipping today. I was due
to conduct a confirmation service at St Michaels Church in Mbare high
density suburb at 11.30am. The parish priest there telephoned to say we
could not use the building because the police had told them not to do so. He
wondered if they should find another venue. I told him not to and that I was
going to try and see the police commissioner. The diocesan registrar
telephoned me in order to brief me about the turn of events in the parishes.
We agreed that we should go to the Harare Central Police Station and see the
police commissioner on duty and seek clarification to the ugly turn of
events. She was not in the office. Her subordinate called her and we were
able to speak with her on our cell phone. She claimed that the police were
in our churches to maintain law and order. She admitted that Kunonga had
told them that the diocesan properties belonged to his group and that we
were not supposed to use them. This was in spite of both the fact that the
police have Justice Makarawu's court ruling that we should share the
buildings until the case was brought to the high court and our appeal
against judge Hlatshwayo's ruling which had given our diocesan properties to
Kunonga. The registrar explained the situation to her and asked her to
clarify how and when the police started taking orders from Kunonga. She
insisted that there was no order from higher up in the police force or
government to stop us from using our buildings. The registrar requested her
to command her police officers stopping our people from using their
buildings to leave. The order took a while to filter down. I was able to
conduct my confirmation service much, much later. There was much ululating
when the police were leaving and the patient and determined Christians
started singing 'Onward Christian soldiers' as they danced their way into
the church. We confirmed 89 people.

The faith, commitment and courage of the people of this diocese is very
humbling and encouraging indeed. I can openly state that in spite of the
disturbances and hardships our people are facing, there is a revival taking
place in our church.

We are very concerned that according to the police officers the orders to
disrupt our services and stop us from using our churches are coming from the
Commissioner General himself. We are equally concerned that the police seem
to be taking orders from Kunonga. Our people are observing the law regarding
the sharing of buildings for worship but the police are treating them as
criminals for observing the law. Does this mean that our police have nothing
else to do and so they have to occupy themselves by preventing us from
worshipping God in our church buildings?

We are asking all our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Communion to
continue praying for us. We are asking our brothers and sisters in other
denominations and ZCC (The Zimbabwe Council of Churches) to remember us in
their prayers and support us in our struggle for justice. Today it is us,
who knows who might be next?’

+Chad Harare.


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Poor Joseph

Story here.


Upper Shire strategic plan

The strategic plan of the Anglican Diocese of Upper Shire, Malawi has been published online here.

(The statements below differ from those at the head of the Zachimalawi report, which read like a earlier draft.

This seems to be the more polished version.)

Vision: A self-sustaining church that is Christ Centred and strives to serve humankind holistically.

Mission: The Anglican Diocese of Upper Shire is a Christ centred church that is commissioned to discipleship through the proclamation of the gospel, pastoral care and service delivery (both social and economic).

Core Values:
> Trust in God
> Love and compassionate in its ministry
> Transparency and Accountability
> Excellence in the way of doing things
> Ecumenical in its ministry
> Trust among its people
> Unity of purpose
> Upholding and defending the teaching of the Church
> Gender sensitive

Strategic Objectives:
> The following are the objectives of the Anglican Diocese of Upper Shire:
> To ensure nurturing the people of God by offering quality pastoral care.
> To strengthen the proclamation of the Gospel through out the diocese and beyond.
> To develop the capacity of both laity and the clergy for the furtherance of the Gospel in the Diocese.
> To provide essential services to both members and non members in fulfilment of its call.
> To attain economical empowerment for purposes of the fulfilment of the church's' mission and self edification.
> To increase the Dioceses' visibility and impact in the country and beyond.

Guiding Principles:
> Draw inspiration from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
> Align itself and its operations to the Cannons of the Church of the Province of Central Africa and the Acts of the Diocese.
> Utilisation of available skills within and among the membership and then develop them further.
> Promotion of human development.
> Work in partnership with other like mind organisation.
> Promotion of self reliance through parish based self help projects.

These principles are then worked out in detail through the report. Long and short-term projects are missing, though I am sure there are many suggestions.

All here


Send a Christmas card to Harare

A Canadian winter for Christmas in Harare

From the Anglican Journal

This Advent, Canadian Anglicans are being invited to send a Christmas card as a show of solidarity to the new bishop of Harare, Chad Gandiya/Bishop Gandiya and members of his diocese continue to face challenges resulting from internal church divisions and political violence in Zimbabwe.

The diocese of Keewatin is sending a personalized card that is a print of a painting by its bishop, David Ashdown. The card, which can be downloaded here, depicts a winter landscape in Canada’s north.

“We invite you to download the [card], add your personal greeting, sign it and send it electronically to Bishop Gandiya at chadgandiya@googlemail.com or by surface mail to: The Right Reverend Chad Gandiya, 9 Monmouth Road, Avondale, Harare, Zimbabwe.


Further spats in the Cathedral

From the Herald (Harare) via All Africa News

Harare — An Anglican priest yesterday allegedly assaulted a parishioner at the cathedral in Harare as the battle for control of the church's properties continues unabated.

Winterton Zimunya sustained a deep cut above the right eye after the attack with what he said was a small knobkerrie.

When The Herald visited the cathedral, police were dispersing people aligned to Bishop Chad Gandiya's Church of the Province of Central Africa.

The worshippers said the priest who carried out the alleged assault was aligned to Bishop Nolbert Kunonga's independent Anglican Church.

The church split in 2007 when Bishop Kunonga and his followers refused to accept the pro-homosexual stance they said the traditional Anglican community was supporting.

The disturbances started when Bishop Kunonga's followers arrived at the premises saying they had a court edict barring Bishop Gandiya's followers from using the cathedral premises.

Zimunya told New Ziana: "People were refusing to vacate the premises before being shown the directive from the responsible authorities when priests from the other faction threw a table towards people standing at the entrance."

Zimunya said as police were trying to restore order, the unidentified priest struck him with a small knobkerrie.

Police could be seen pushing the rival parishioners and trying to separate and restrain them.
Some of Bishop Gandiya's followers then started singing derogatory songs attacking Bishop Kunonga.

Yesterday, the two sides blamed each other for the violence.

Reverend Phineas Fundira, who is aligned to Bishop Gandiya, said: "I was giving the Holy Communion to people when I saw police and some priest from the Kunonga faction entering the church before ordering me to stop the service.

"I requested for court documents barring me from carrying out the service but they did not produce any.

"These people should just stop bringing politics into the church and concentrate on the core business."

Reverend Admire Sango, who is aligned to Bishop Kunonga, yesterday laid the blame squarely on Bishop Gandiya's followers.

"All these squabbles are being caused by the other side who are refusing to follow a court order barring them from using our church premises."

Another priest, who refused to be identified, added: "We are following a High Court ruling that recognised Dr Kunonga as the bishop responsible for the church's property. "We have said and we will continue to say that we cannot have two church services. These people should just join us or we will not allow them to use our church buildings."

Police spokespersons could not be reached for comment at the time of writing as their cellphones went unanswered.

Judge President Justice Rita Makarau last year ruled that the two sides should use the church facilities alternately pending resolution of the dispute.

Co-Home Affairs Ministers Kembo Mohadi and Giles Mutsekwa once summoned both sides and ordered them to peacefully co-exist. -- Herald Reporter-New Ziana.


Renegade former Bishop Nolbert Kunonga stirs more trouble in Zimbabwe

'Archbishop' Nolbert Kunonga makes a point


We have been asked to publish the following from Trish McKenzie in Harare, Zimbabwe raising further concerns at the actions of renegade self-styled 'Archbishop' Nolbert Kunonga. Kunonga was formerly Bishop of Harare and a close associate of former Archbishop Bernard Malango before breaking away from the Province. Prior to his original election to the Diocese of Harare, Kunonga was a lecturer at the Unification Church (Moonie) seminary in Barrytown, New York where he was awarded his doctorate.

For a documented example of Kunonga's recent actions at St Clare's, Mangwende, see the earlier post on this blogsite.:

Trish McKenzie reports:
'Dr Nolbert Kunonga is again trying to destabilize the diocese by invading various churches and interrupting confirmations, weddings and other legitimate activities in contravention of various judgments handed down since 19 January 2008 and subsequent appeals by the Diocese of Harare CPCA where the judgments have been adverse. The Bishop, Dean, priests and parishioners are determined to continue holding their services at the times permitted in terms of the Makarau Judgment of January 2008. Please continue to pray for justice and an end of the harassment by Kunonga'.

And more details from Avondale Parish:



Over the last two weeks, and at intervals recently, Dr Kunonga has
again interfered with the parishes in this diocese in contravention of
the judgments that have been handed down over a period of time since
January 19 2008 and in an attempt to destabilize the diocese. The
following are some of the incidents that have occurred:

Saturday 28 November 2009: St Clare’s Church Murewa: The police
entered the church as Bishop Chad was about to administer the elements
and drove everyone out of the church. When asked why the reply was
“political”. The incident is being pursued with the Officer in Command
of DESPO in Marondera as the officer-in-charge at Murewa had no right
to interfere with the service.

On Sunday 29 November during the Confirmation Service at Kuwadzana the
congregation was ordered out of the church by the police and the
service was held in the open. The Police did not assist us in
preventing the parishioners being forced out of the church by Kunonga
thereby disobeying the court order and not upholding the judgment.

Tafara: The parishioners have been informed by a letter posted at the
church that Dr Kunonga will be holding one service all day on Sunday 6
December 2009. This is in contravention of the Makarau Judgement
permitting CPCA priests to hold services ninety minutes after those
held by Kunonga’s priests.

Church of the Transfiguration Warren Park: The parishioners have been
informed the only one service will be held on Sunday 6 December by
Kunonga from 0800-1700 hours and members of CPCA may attend if they
wish. Again contravention of the Makarau judgement.

St Faith’s Budariro: Three weddings were due to be held last week.
Some of the known supporters of Kunonga entered the church after the
first wedding and said that there is a new chapter beginning and
people can only attend their services and not those of CPCA.

Glenview: A competition was supposed to be held by a cell phone
service company today 5 December 2009. Permission was granted as
Kunonga people never use the church on a Saturday. When the PR lady
was supervising the erection of the marquee she was told that Kunonga
would be at the church all day and the event has been cancelled. The
priest and parishioners have been stopped from using the church.

St Elizabeth’s Belvedere: Were due to have a fete today which has been
well publicized. The police were informed in advance but when the
person appointed to liaise with the police went to check yesterday he
was told that Kunonga would be having a fete today and that the church
was booked in advance of CPCA booking the church. In addition the
doors have been bolted from inside and the lock changed on the gate.

Hatfield: On Friday 4 December two or three visitors went to see Rev
Zhou and informed him that they wanted to use the church all day on 5
and 6 December. There however are two weddings booked and they were
informed that they could use the facilities after the weddings but on
Sunday the Salvation Army use the church after CPCA and therefore it
would not be available.

St Paul’s Marlborough: On Sunday 29 November Munyani and six priests
went to St Paul’s just before the start of the 0700 service and called
the priest out and told him to tell the parishioners to go home and
come back at 1230 hours in contravention of the court ruling. The
Kunonga priest was called as there is a written agreement with him. He
was told that he should not have agreed without permission from the
Head Office (Kunonga).

Bishop Gaul College: On Friday 4 December Kunonga and two others went
to the College with a bunch of keys. The ordinands were told that
Kunonga would “come like a whirlwind to the College”.

The diocese is not taking these contraventions lightly and will be
pursue through the courts any attempt by Kunonga to prevent the
legitimate services being held.

The Bishop, Dean, priests, wardens and parishioners are determined to
continue with the services at the times that they have been holding
them in accordance with the Makarau Judgment and will not tolerate
the breaching of the court orders by the Police.

Please continue to pray for the diocese for strength and wisdom to
overcome the evil that is being perpetrated.

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Hooked on oil

Alongside the Chad-Cameroon pipeline

To have oil is, for a country's leadership, like an addiction.

With oil in your veins you have no need of popular support. You have lots of money to buy your friends (who, being close, are your greatest enemies) and to buy weapons that can be used against anyone else. You can be assured of international acceptance and comfortably selective vision when being scutinised.

Fishermen, farmers - who needs them? You can import food with your petty cash. Or jet off to Europe, America, China to make more deals with the willing rich.

There is only one priority - to keep the oil flowing. Nothing else matters.

From truthout:

A Humanitarian Disaster in the Making Along the Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline - Who's Watching?


For Chadian President Idriss Deby, oil revenues are a means to prolong abusive and undemocratic rule. He changed the constitution to become president for life, used over 30% of Chad’s oil revenues on war, and used money destined for development in “priority sectors” to grant opaque, no-bid public contracts to god knows whom -- all things he promised not to do. It is little wonder that Chadian civil society declared the pipeline’s inauguration a day of national mourning.


No place in Cameroon has been overrun by the pipeline as much as the coastal city of Kribi. Traditional Kribians wake up around 5 am and ready their wooden canoes for the day’s fishing expedition. As each day passes, they paddle farther and farther to catch fewer and fewer fish. That’s because one of the principal fishing reefs was dynamited to make way for the Chad-Cameroon pipeline, which is buried under 11 kilometers of seabed. Supertankers from around to world come to dock at the Offshore Loading Facility just off Kribi’s coast, fill up on Chadian crude, and then head off to Europe and the US. The Cameroonian coast guard and Exxon private security won’t let fisherman drop their nets near the Offshore Facility and routinely harass artisanal fisherman as commercial Chinese trawlers illegally overfish the outer waters with impunity.