Two reports from Harare

Via Avondale parish e-newsletter

From Arik.com (France), 25 January
Anglican Church invites Mugabe to pray out ex Bishop's unholy mess
By Alice Chimora

Anglicans in Zimbabwe have resolved to hold a street prayer protest in central Harare to press the police to allow the church access to its buildings across the capital. The parishes have invited President Mugabe, a Catholic, to the prayer session.

The Anglicans have been embroiled in power struggle to control the church and the dispute has spilled to the courts but the fight continues to escalate. Former Anglican Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, a staunch Zanu PF supporter is believed to be behind the chaos. And although Bishop Chad Nicholas Gandiya is the rightful head of the church, Nolbert Kunonga, who refuses to cede physical control of Anglican churches, is believed to have called in police to tear-gas worshippers out of church buildings on several occasions.

Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA), a supreme authority of Anglican church in the region has seen its orders defied by Kunonga to surrender church property. "The church resolved to hold the open prayer to force the police to abide by the court ruling," the church announced on Sunday. "The President [Mugabe] has been invited and his office is aware.

Initially it was felt that we hold a protest march, but this was later shelved as the diocese opted for an open prayer session."

It is still not clear whether Mugabe would attend or whether police have sanctioned the open prayer session. The protest prayer comes after co-Home Affairs minister, Giles Mutseyekwa announced that he was planning to meet Harare police commanders to discuss the Anglican issue. A High Court judge ordered Gandiya and Kunonga and their followers to share use of church buildings for prayers. But Kunonga's group is accused of locking up church doors every Sunday to prevent their rivals from entering the buildings to hold prayers, while the police have been on hand to chase away Gandiya's followers every time they tried to insist on their right to use the churches.

Kunonga was excommunicated in 2008 after trying to withdraw the Harare diocese from the Anglican church. He claimed at the time he was protecting the diocese from 'rampant homosexuality' and ordination of gay priests. A staunch supporter of Mugabe who tried to use the pulpit to defend the Zimbabwean leader's controversial policies, Kunonga was excommunicated together with several priests and other church leaders who backed his
revolt against the CPCA.

* * *
From The Standard, 24 January
Govt wades into Anglican dispute
Caiphus Chimhete

Minister of Home Affairs Giles Mutsekwa says he will this week meet senior police officers in Harare over the partisan nature of the police handling the dispute between the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa (ACPCA) and a break-away faction led by an ex-communicated bishop. The break-away group led by Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, who was expelled from the church in 2007, has been locking out parishioners from the ACPCA led by Bishop Chad Gandiya despite a High Court ruling ordering the two to share church facilities at different times of the day.

Mutsekwa said he was concerned about the continued violation of the court ruling by the break-away group led by known Zanu PF apologist Kunonga. "We are aware and concerned about what is happening," said Mutsekwa. "I will be meeting with the Officer Commanding Harare Province to find out why this is still happening and also give him a directive to stop it."

Disgruntled members last week accused the police of openly supporting the Kunonga faction, whose members have, on several occasions, disregarded court rulings with shocking impunity. A High Court ruling by Judge President Rita Makarau in 2008 ordered the two church factions to share the premises.

The two groups are supposed to share the premises with the Kunonga-led group taking the morning slot, while the Central African province take the session starting after mid-morning. But supporters of Kunonga continue to lock out parishioners who are members of the Anglican Province of Central Africa led by Gandiya.

The Diocesan Registrar for the CPCA Michael Chingore said the minister must "put his foot down" to ensure that the police respect the High Court ruling as well as the rule of law. Chingore said supporters of Kunonga were working in cahoots with the police to prevent ACPCA parishioners from freely worshipping in their churches.

This is not the first time that Mutsekwa and his counterpart Kembo Mohadi have intervened in the Anglican dispute. In April last year, the two factions had a meeting with the two ministers of Home Affairs and it was agreed that they share the worshipping time slots. However, Kunonga's supporters have neither respected resolutions of the meeting nor court rulings. "Remember, I issued a statement after our meeting last year but it appears nothing changed much so we will be meeting again next week (this week)," admitted Mutsekwa.

A parishioner at St Elizabeth's Church in Belvedere, Harare, described the disruptions in the Anglican Church as "the work of the devil". She said this after they were locked outside the church and foul-smelling manure spread out in an area they were scheduled to worship a fortnight ago. Worshippers continue to be locked out in other parishes around Harare.

Kunonga was ex-communicated after he attempted to unilaterally withdraw the Diocese of Harare from the Central African Province. The province includes churches from Zambia, Botswana, Malawi and Zimbabwe.



A plea to an Archbishop

I know it's not brilliant poetry but I think it meets the point.

Feel free to recycle it wherever you think useful.

We were in the Duck and Feathers,
if I remember aright, some
years before the Mitre, and some
were virgins still. I bought a round,
not lilies mind, and set it down
‘No worries,’ I said, ‘just be true
to yourself,’ trite, I know, but it
means more between the sheets, ‘for what
pleases you will surely pleasure
him.’ (Though I’m no longer convinced
that will work the other way around.)
‘Shut up.’ you said, ‘No-one asked you.’
I did; now look where we’ve got to.

No-one asked me for my views now.
But I reckon, Archbishop, that
the first hundred ’n fifty years
of any relationship is
bound to have its troughs and squalls and
some things said should not be said
and may surely be best forgot.
And you know it’s unwise, in the
midst of a domestic, for one
to decide that the thing to do
is to re-write the marriage vows:
for love hurries out the window
when orders are issued in bed.

And deep in the Rose and Compass
where they worry about such things
I guess they’re a wee bit concerned
at the vision they can see: an
Archbishop dons a papal crown
while Primates flock to Wippells to
sit for their cardinal’s gown, and
lawyers most costly consulting
with mercurial bureaucrats,
and Ancient and Modern revised
so the choir sing a single tune:
and family turns a business
when all must dance to a contract.

So please Archbishop, dear Archbishop,
for the sake of some angry words or a
few foolish acts and a little blackmail,
please don’t go signing this new covenant
or throw away your well-worn wedding ring.



An unsubstantiated accusation of poisoning - the trial of Leonard Mondoma - Nkhota-kota, Diocese of Lake Malawi

After an alleged poisoning almost three years ago and following 18 months in prison, one year of which he was held without charge, Leonard Mondoma, the late Canon Rodney Hunter’s cook finally came to court on Tuesday this week. A twice-suspended priest, the Rev’d Denis Kayamba, had accused Mondoma, despite a lack of evidence, of poisoning his employer.

The case has been conducted in Nkhota-kota in a thoroughgoing and painstaking fashion by the judge. The court has heard statements from the Rev’d Denis Kayamba as the principle accuser of Leonard Mondoma. Even under cross-examination, Kayamba failed to produce any conclusive evidence that Canon Hunter was poisoned and was unable to explain how he had made his accusations before any forensic tests. Additionally, the police officer friend of Kayamba who was formerly in Nkhota-kota, in putting his case, also failed to produce any actual documented evidence to substantiate why Mondoma had been accused and arrested.

A report from St Anne’s Hospital (the Anglican hospital close to where Hunter lived) has also been lodged with the Court indicating that Hunter had died of cancer.

The case has now been adjourned until 22nd February when Dr Peter Kaloungwe formerly of St Anne’s but now working at Mulanje Mission will present the St Anne’s case for having treated Hunter the night before he died. Conversely, Dr Charles Dzamalala will present the findings of his autopsy performed on Hunter in which he has claimed ‘probable poisoning’ simply on basis of a dark colour of the contents of the bowel. Leaked reports in the British press of three supposed poisons were quickly discovered to have been simple medicaments taken by Hunter.

has long considered that Leonard Mondoma is the innocent victim of local Nkhota-kota ecclesiastical infighting and unsubstantiated claims of poisoning boosted by the febrile atmosphere created by sensationalist reporting from some parts of the British press.

It is to be hoped that the outcome of the trial will finally settle the matter, return this corner of Malawi to some kind of normality, and Mondoma to his family and friends.

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Degrees of intimidation

ANGLICAN-INFORMATION reports the latest Kunonga incident in Zimbabwe as yet one more amongst a whole catalogue of intimidation, violence and obstruction coming from the self-styled ‘Archbishop of Zimbabwe’ and inflicted on the priests and people of the legitimate Anglican Diocese of Harare, Church of the Province of Central Africa.

From: Trish McKensie, Avondale Parish, Harare, Zimbabwe.


St Mary Magdalene Parish (CPCA) is celebrating its 100th anniversary on 9 January 2010. Today Dr. Kunonga has blocked us from entering the premises despite the fact that there is a supposed a Government of Unity and various court orders. The celebrations will now take place at Arundel School Chapel. Holy Communion will be celebrated by the Bishop Rt Rev Dr. Chad Nicholas Gandiya. Bishop Chad was a gardener at St Mary Magdalene before taking holy orders and served as a curate before being posted to other Parishes in the former Diocese of Harare.

Academic qualifications?

We are periodically asked about the titles and academic qualifications of the various bishops of the Central African Province.

The Rt Rev’d Dr. James Tengatenga of Southern Malawi has a PhD from the University of Malawi and two Doctorates of Divinity (honoris causa) one from the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the South, Austin, Texas and one from the General Theological Seminary in New York.

The Rt Rev’d Dr. Chad Gandiya gained his doctorate from the University of Zimbabwe and has also studied at Michigan State University. He was formerly tutor at the United College of Selly Oak Birmingham, U.K.

Dr. Kunonga I presume? There has been speculation about where Nolbert Kunonga gained his doctorate and we incorrectly ascribed it to the Unification Church (Moonie) Theological Seminary (U.T.S.) in Barrytown, New York where Kunonga taught for a while in the mid 1990’s. In fact he has a doctoral degree from the Northwestern University, based in Evanston, Illinois. We suggest that it is time that the University withdrew his accreditation.

The previous Archbishop of Central Africa, Dr. Amos Bernard Malango, sometime mentor and supporter of Kunonga, claims his doctorate as a DD. The only record we can trace is an Master of Philosophy from the University of Dublin gained in 1984.

For the aspiring, doctorates and other degrees are also available from Degree Xpress, via
alumnaservices.co.uk for $249.00. Degree Xpress offers: No examinations, 100% legal loophole, no studying, etc.

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