Who will listen to our plight? A letter from Bishop Chad Gandiya of Harare, Zimbabwe

Bishop Chad Gandiya

ANGLICAN-INFORMATION writes that the acting Dean, Bishop Albert Chama, of the Central African Province has been away at a Global South Conference in Singapore and thereafter in the United States, all expenses paid, with those who are ‘blowing a trumpet’ to break up the Anglican Communion. At the Conference he delivered a Paper discussing ‘Economic Empowerment of the Global South’. There is a degree of irony that Bishop Chama has been away lecturing others in such a cosseted environment without a mention of the circumstances prevailing in his own Province, not least in Zimbabwe, and whilst priests in the Province go unpaid.

We publish below a letter from
Bishop Chad Gandiya of Harare, Zimbabwe cataloguing the continuing problems that he struggles with against the now infamous ‘Bishop’ Nolbert Kunonga.

Bishop Gandiya asks “Who will listen to our plight?” It would be much better if Bishop Albert Chama spent some of his energies addressing this terrible situation rather than travelling around the world lecturing others.


From: Bishop Chad Gandiya

Police repression of the Anglican Church intensifies

Dear Friends,

Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance. Easter tide greetings to you.
We trust your Easter celebrations went well. Thank you for all your prayer
support for us. We write this letter to bring you up-to-date with what is
happening in our church.

Some of you are aware that Vice President Honourable
John Nkomo together with Honourable Ministers Sekai Holland and Gibson Sibanda
all members of the Organ for National Healing Reconciliation and Integration
were tasked by Cabinet to mediate between us (Diocese of Harare CPCA) and Dr.
Kunonga's Anglican Province of Zimbabwe. Those talks are going on.
We continue to be amazed that while these talks have begun and Cabinet's wish
and message to us to worship in peace, the very opposite is happening. Our
experience over the last two weeks is that the persecution seems to have
intensified. Police are openly telling our people to attend Dr. Kunonga's
services only and continue to prohibit them from worshipping in their churches
as per Judge President Makarawu's judgment and Justice Bhunu's judgment of the
3rd March 2010. The former allowed for sharing of church buildings for worship
until the courts give their final judgment on the matter and the latter endorsed
that judgment. Whereas in the past some of our congregations used to hold their
services outside of their church buildings, the police are driving them away
telling them that they cannot meet outside anywhere near the church buildings.

We are completely baffled by the behavior of the Zimbabwe Republic Police in
this matter. We have persistently asked why they are being used to prop up Dr.
Kunonga by actively telling people that our church properties belong to him and therefore
our members should attend his Church services only. Nobody has given us any

We continue to raise our grave concern over the police partisan
involvement in the affairs of our church, abuse of our rights and disregard of
Court Orders and Rulings.

We also continue to ask; Who will police the police?
Have they officially become a law unto themselves?

To whom can we turn for help?
Who will listen to our plight?

Last Sunday 11/04/2010
1. Police went to St. Mark's Church, Ruwa and drove our members away from
both the church and church premises. When the congregation decided to meet at
the priest's house the police prohibited them from doing so. What right do they
have to stop even this? The priest of this church received a text message from
Kunonga's priest telling him not to use the church or else "what they did at St.
Faith's Church, Budiriro will happen to them". St. Faith's Church, Budiriro is
where riot police tear-gassed our people on a Sunday morning and then followed
it up on a Thursday afternoon with tear-gassing Mother's Union members who were
worshipping away from the church in the open air. This is further proof of that
Dr. Kunonga's priests are working in cahoots with the police.

2. Our Cathedral congregation was told by the police not to meet anywhere
near the Cathedral next week or else they will face the wrath of the police.

3. At Holy Trinity Church, Ruwa acting Officer-in-Charge assistant
Inspector Ngoshi and Sergeant Major Chibaya force number 044621A drove our
congregation out telling them that they had orders to stop their service because
they were to leave the Church to Kunonga's group even though he hasn't got a
single member in that area.

4. At St. Alban's Church, Chiweshe where I had gone for a Confirmation
Service- the church doors were welded from inside and so we could not go in as
we had intended. We only managed to remove a pin on one of the hinges but could
not go in. As a result we had our service in the open air. Rev'd. Mangava,
Kunonga's resident priest/untrained teacher called the police telling them that
we had broken into the church. Police arrived just before the end of our service
only to find a pin that had been removed and nothing broken. For that, about six
people including the two priests who were with me had to go to Glendale police
station to give evidence - a process that took forever. I followed them. No
charges were brought against them but we reported the damage that was caused to
our church building by the welding of doors and other devices used to prevent us
from going in. We await a court hearing. What's amazing is the ease with which
even Dr. Kunonga's priests call the police, tell them what to do and how they
in turn easily comply.

5. A number of our congregations are using other denominations church
buildings (we are very grateful for their generosity) while some use school
buildings and others continue to meet in the open air.

Thank you for your messages of solidarity and assurances of your prayer
support. We don't lose heart in spite of all the challenges we are facing.
He is risen indeed - Halleluiah!

+Chad, Harare.

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Dismay and anger in the Central African Province at a profligate waste of money by acting Dean Albert Chama and others as they jet off to a Conference

Living it up whilst breaking up the Anglican Communion!

Primates and other leaders at the Istana with the President of Singapore during the afternoon courtesy call

1st Row, L-R: (GSPSC members) Bishop Albert Chama, Abp Mouneer Anis, Abp Peter Akinola, President Nathan, Abp John Chew, Abp Stephen Than, Abp Kolini, Abp Greg Venables
2nd Row: Bishop Anba Suriel, Bishop Johannes Seoka, Abp Eliud Wabukala, Abp Daniel Deng, Abp Nicholas Okoh, Bishop Stephen Kaziimba, Abp Valentini Mokiwa
3rd Row: Elder Fu XianWei, Abp Bernard Ntahoturi, Abp Ian Ernest, Abp Dabvid Vunagi, Mr Gu Mengfei, Bp Howard Gregory
Last row: Abp Jeffrey Driver, Bp Sunil Singh, Abp Bob Duncan, Abp Henri Isingoma, Bp John Howe, Bp Richard Ellena

Photograph: Global South Anglican

ANGLICAN-INFORMATION reports: In a new circular letter dated 20th April the Diocesan Secretary of the Diocese of Lake Malawi has announced a change in date for the consecration of the Venerable Francis Kaulanda as the next Bishop of Lake Malawi. The consecration and enthronement, originally scheduled to take place on Sunday 2nd May at All Saints’ Cathedral, Nkhota-kota, has now been postponed to Sunday 9th May.

This change the letter says, ‘was done by the Province in order to accommodate as many Provincial Bishops as possible’. The real reason is related to the absence of the acting Dean of the Province and other bishops who have jetted off to an all expenses paid conference in Singapore hosted by the
Global South Anglican South to South Encounter.

Albert Chama, who is now in Singapore, is accompanied by Bishops William Mchama of Eastern Zambia and Godfrey Tawonzi of Masvingo, Zimbabwe. The cost of first class flights and accommodation for the three of them amounts to the value of approximately a whole year’s pay for all the currently unpaid priests in Zimbabwe and Lake Malawi! Pictures of the bishops in all their glory fronting the magnificent St Andrew’s Cathedral in Singapore are available on our blogsites.

It is not clear where the monies have come from to support this venture but they are assumed to be from conservative and schismatic North American Anglicans? These are currently pursuing a fissiparous agenda in their battle against the American Episcopal Church and a disruptive and schismatic programme in the Anglican Communion.

Neither is it clear where Albert Chama’s authority to attend on behalf of the Central African Province has come from? By agreeing to attend the Conference in Singapore Albert Chama has allowed the Province to be counted as supportive of the schismatic movement. This has happened with neither Provincial synodical approval nor support from the other bishops.

Understandably, voices of dismay and anger are now being raised against the acting Dean for the profligate waste of money that could have been so much better spent.

Ironically, the new letter from the Diocesan Secretary of Lake Malawi once again asks donors for desperately needed money for the Diocese and gives banking details for transfers. Thanks to acting Dean Chama’s unwise junketing trip in South East Asia support and donations, which come largely from the U.K. and the U.S.A. and from the very churches which the Global South Conference has been called to condemn, are likely to be in short supply.

Whilst Albert Chama and the other bishops work on breaking up the Anglican Communion the hard-working clergy of Zimbabwe and Lake Malawi will need to go on scratching a living from their smallholdings in order to survive.

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Another potential split in the Central African Province – acting Dean Bishop Albert Chama jets off to Singapore to attend schismatic meeting

Schismatics every one?
Bishops at the Fourth Anglican Global South to South encounter in Singapore.

ANGLICAN-INFORMATION reports: In what is effectively a calculated snub to his fellow bishops and in particular Bishop James Tengatenga of the Diocese of Southern Malawi, the acting Dean of the Anglican Central African Province, the Rt Rev’d Albert Chama has been flown out to the Fourth Global South Encounter in Singapore.

Albert Chama is accompanied by Bishops William Mchamba of Eastern Zambia and Godfrey Tawonzvi of Masvingo, Zimbabwe. Also in the party is Fr Christopher Mwawa formerly Dean of the College of Christian Ministries, Diocese of Lake Malawi.

The latest
Global South Encounter Meeting is a gathering of 130 delegates and observers who represent the schismatic grouping in the Anglican Communion that is currently supporting breakaway parishes in the United States, fostering division and challenging the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Of particular concern in the Central African Province is how potentially divisive Chama’s attendance will become amongst the bishops. The Archbishop of the Indian Ocean the Most Rev’d Ian Earnest, a principal player at the Global South Encounter Meeting,
wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury on 13th April insisting that at further meetings of Anglican Primates the North Americans should specifically not be invited. This specifically catches Bishop James Tengatenga who is currently on sabbatical study leave in the United States with the Episcopal Church. Tengatenga is also the newly elected chairperson of the Anglican Consultative Council, which is one of the Instruments of the Anglican Communion, and which has also come in for severe criticism from the Global South members.

For those labouring in parish vineyards and simply getting on with the Gospel this is a complicated scenario but Albert Chama in his attendance at the meeting in Singapore is following directly in the footsteps of his mentor former
Archbishop Bernard Malango. He is thereby snubbing other bishops in the Central African Province as well as the Archbishop of Canterbury. In the Central African Province those bishops who will have reason to feel aggrieved with Chama’s actions include James Tengatenga, Bishop Trevor Mwamba of Botswana and Bishop Chad Gandiya of Harare, all of who have been closely associated with the North American Churches and openly remained loyal to Canterbury. Ironically, Chama himself has been hosted by the Episcopal Church and even preached in Grace Cathedral, San Francisco.

priests go unpaid in Malawi, acting Dean Chama and the others are enjoying an all expenses paid (by whom?) trip to South East Asia, but it will come at a longer term high cost - that of the unity of the Province for which he still has at least temporary oversight.

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Good news and bad from the Anglican Diocese of Lake Malawi

The Venerable Francis Kaulanda

ANGLICAN-INFORMATION: We have received the following letter of invitation to the consecration of the Venerable Francis Kaulanda, currently Archdeacon of Lilongwe, as Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Lake Malawi. The letter has been dispatched widely as an invitation and a fundraiser. We have removed the Diocesan Bank Account details for security reasons.


From: Kondwani.
For Diocesan Secretary
Diocese of Lake Malawi
P.O. Box 30349
Capital City
Tel: +265 1 796 463

Dear All,

I am happy to let you know that the Diocese of Lake Malawi will be consecrating the Venerable Francis Kaulanda to be the Bishop of the Diocese of Lake Malawi on 2nd May, 2010.

The function will take place at All Saints Cathedral in Nkhotakota (200km away from Lilongwe,the Capital City of Malawi). The function is expected to start at 8:30 am with the consecration and finish with the enthronement in the afternoon.

The preparations for the function are underway, thus I am requesting all who are coming to attend the function to let us know their details-numbers and names of people coming.

The diocese also offers a chance to them who would like to bless this function through their finances to do so. The support can be wired to the following diocesan Accounts:
1. Foreign Currency Denomination Account:
Bank Name : .........................
Account Name : ........................
Account Number: .......................
Branch : .............................
Swift Code : ...........................

2. Current Account
Bank Name : .........................
Account Name : ........................
Account Number: .......................
Branch : ............................
Swift Code : ...........................

The diocese truly need your prayer and support in cash and kind for her to have a colourful function. Surely, 5 years without a Bishop is not a joke thus we expect this to be such a big and a memorable function which will attract people from all walks of life.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ increase mightily upon your life as you contribute and pray for this function.

Remain a blessing,



comments on the letter:

Good News:

  • There is genuine relief for many that the long misused and beleaguered Anglican Diocese of Lake Malawi will at last have a bishop after the death of the late and much loved Peter Nyanja in February 2005.
  • The Venerable Francis Kaulanda, the new candidate, has had a good track record as Archdeacon of Lilongwe and worked well as a Malawi representative for the much-respected Micro-Loan Foundation, a UK Charity dispensing small loans to needy Malawians. High hopes are vested in him.

Bad News:

  • The Diocese of Lake Malawi is in a parlous financial state with clergy and bills unpaid. This is at least partly due to a collapse in confidence on the part of donors following the longstanding political machinations of the Provincial bishops under former Archbishop Bernard Malango and his subsequent protégé acting Dean Albert Chama who have been seen to be interfering with and manipulating elections in Malawi in general and Lake Malawi in particular.
  • In this respect Francis Kaulanda will always carry the burden of doubts about his legitimacy following the never resolved and disputed confirmation of the previously elected bishop. These will emerge whenever things go wrong in the diocese as will the unprecedented number of objectors to Kaulanda’s candidacy and whose views at this stage have merely been suppressed by the Provincial Bishops rather than dealt with.

The next stage – some suggested advice for the new bishop:

  • That the new bishop should work hard at convincing donors that his regime is independently trustworthy and merits a resumption of support.
  • That he should make a serious effort to build bridges with those many in the diocese who have opposed him.
  • That he keep should keep a cautious political distance from the oversight of and association with a Provincial regime that is viewed by many with apprehension and misgiving.

wishes Francis Kaulanda and the Diocese of Lake Malawi well and will continue to update you with news both good and bad from the sadly troubled Church of the Central African Province.

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News updates: Harare, Lake Malawi, Northern Malawi and fears for the next Archbishop of the Province

The Church of the Province of Central Africa consists of four countries:
Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Botswana

ANGLICAN-INFORMATION reports: We’ve been off line for a while as there has been little news except of course the continuing violence in the Diocese of Harare perpetrated by ‘Archbishop’ Nolbert Kunonga who seems to have the regular backing of the police despite court rulings. Leaked documents reported on the Internet confirm this.

Most recently the church of St Luke in Rhodesville has been targeted. Two interesting comments: a police spokesman said to ‘The Zimdiaspora “We have discovered that as the police are being used to fight Kunonga’s personal battles, we have closed the church (St Luke’s) and no one is allowed to enter every Sunday until sanity prevails.” That’s quite a positive admission considering the circumstances – perhaps he’s an Anglican.

But here’s a more depressing report form the same source: ‘A member of St Luke’s church said many Anglican parishioners were now attending Sunday service at the nearby Roman Catholic church as they were tired of the in fighting within the church.’ He goes on, “This is no longer religion. The Anglican Church is now a laughing stock of the country because of these unending fights. Kunonga and his politics must just go and leave us in peace.”

ANGLICAN-INFORMATION comments that unfortunately there is no sign of Kunonga going away as long as the Mugabe regime is still effectively in power. Former Bishop Sebastian Bakare and Bishop Chad Gandiya are left defending a very difficult situation – without, it seems these days, very much obvious support from acting Dean of the Province, Bishop Albert Chama or the other bishops.

Diocese of Lake Malawi: Albert Chama has decided to press ahead with the consecration of the Venerable Francis Kaulanda as the new Bishop of Lake Malawi on Sunday 2nd May at All Saints’ Cathedral, Nkhota-kota. Kaulanda had been opposed by an unprecedented large number of objectors but their court injunction against him has now been lifted.

People from the Diocese of Lake Malawi have communicated various sentiments to us about the bishop-elect. In Nkhota-kota both the Mothers’ Union and Fathers’ Union have staged traditional singing and dancing up to the Cathedral in welcome and affirmation. Elsewhere in the diocese the mood is more ambivalent, some welcome the chance of a new start others remain dissatisfied about what has happened since the last election.

Mixed views are hardly surprising but Kaulanda has received the backing of the former Bishop-elect, London based the Rev’d Dr. Nicholas Henderson (as reported by us in August 2009). Dr. Henderson asked the people to support Francis Kaulanda by ending their ‘long and courageous struggle for justice’ against the contrived 2005 Court of Confirmation in order to bring stability and a fresh start to the Diocese.

Fr. Kaulanda has gained a good reputation as the Archdeacon of Lilongwe and many have high hopes for him. Doubts about his legitimacy will remain as his Achilles heel throughout his reign but the ANGLICAN-INFORMATION team wish him well and advise him to remain a ‘Father in God’, resist autocratic tendencies and never to lose touch with the people, which is often the fatal mistake of ‘prince bishops’.

The Diocese of Northern Malawi: Often seen as a forced candidate Fr. Leslie Mtekateka’s Court of Confirmation (which had been held in a clandestine fashion) has been nullified because of serious challenges and objections regarding his behaviour and personal conduct. Almost certainly there will now be fresh elections for the post.

Plus ça change (plus c’est las même chose) – ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’. We hope that our African and international readers will forgive us for lapsing into French but it is the consensus opinion of the ANGLICAN-INFORMATION team that throughout our long period of reportage regarding the Central African Province the problem has always been the same. That of autocratic episcopal oversight and, with some noble exceptions, the bishops seeing themselves as a caste apart, willing to manipulate elections, imposing their own candidates and ignoring the wishes of the people. The Central African Province has some fine priests and an increasingly powerful laity but as yet this has not produced the changes that are required to face the new century and to convince the rest of the Anglican world. Unfortunately, over the past few years, matters have got rather worse with donor apprehension, the madness of Zimbabwe and contrived episcopal elections in Malawi. The Province deserves better…

Nevertheless, despite rather than because of their episcopal overlords, faithful Christians are attending services in their thousands - over 600 Easter day communicants in one parish in Nkhota-kota alone this year.

Acting Dean Albert Chama of Northern Zambia: who now styles himself as ‘acting Archbishop’ has had oversight of the deteriorating situation for the past four years. A hasty appointee of the now discredited former Archbishop Bernard Malango, who had sacked the then Dean Bishop Trevor Mwamba for following correct procedures, he has yet fully to gain the confidence of the Province. When the time comes (when all diocesan sees are finally filled) to elect a new Archbishop very careful thought and prayer should be given as to the best candidate – for sake of Christ’s Church and people in Central Africa.

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Absent, but not gone

Henry Orombi in the company of the commandments. (Church Times)

The Archbishop of Uganda, Henry Orombi, has not resigned from the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion (SCAC) despite earlier reports that he had.

He merely said "I stand with my brother Primate, Bishop Mouneer Anis, in his courageous decision to resign from the Standing Committee," (Episcopal Life, which seems to have first announced that Orombi had resigned). In this sentence 'stand' should not be read as 'walk'.

What he has done is to send a 3 page letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, copied to 'Primates, Moderators, and Members of the Standing Committee of the ACC' available here (pdf).

In it he reminds Rowan (though, in fact, telling everyone except Rowan who already knows) that he hasn't been to a meeting of the SCAC since he was elected for 'principled reasons'.

(Incidentally this raises other questionr of representation of the Primates on SCAC - can they vote someone off mid-term on the grounds on non-attendance?)

His grounds are

  1. He stands by the Primates' Communique after their meeting in Dar Es Salaam.
  2. Members of TEC - including the Presiding Bishop who, just like Orombi, was elected by the Primates - are part of the SCAC and clearly will not vote for their own exclusion (I paraphrase, see below).
  3. The leadership of the Anglican Communion Office have subverted powers which properly belong to the Primates. In particular it has been cut out of the 'Windsor process' (to which he objects in any case) and that process has been given to the SCAC.
  4. The SCAC has appropriated powers to itself that neither the Primates nor the Lambeth Conference have approved.
  5. The issue of homosexuality, and the standing of homosexuals in the church, is a matter of faith and order and these properly belong to bishops - and the Lambeth Conference devloved such issues to the Primates (1998, Resolution III.6)
  6. And now the SCAC is to be given authority over Covenant discipline - all highly irregular.

His remedy is to restore power and authority to the Primates. Even their meetings, he says, have been subverted by the officers of the Anglican Communion Office as their secretariat.

He also wishes to exclude TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada from that Primates meeting.

Orombi describes TEC as 'gross violators of Biblical Truth' and states that TEC and the ACoC 'are proceeding with unbiblical practices that contradict the faith of Anglicanism.'

For Ormobi (and I think most of GAFCON) judgement day has passed: from his perspective TEC and the ACoC have already stepped outside the Christian pale, have done so of their own informed volition, and all that remains is frustration at the lack of institutional mechanisms to expel them formally. That was the view of Maurice Sinclair and Drexel Gomez in 2002.


Well, I largely agree with Orombi's organizational analysis - though not about the Primates. The SCAC is a cuckoo in the nest. It has usurped authority already and has, inevitably, reduced the authority of all the other Instruments of Unity.

What Orombi's attitudes and (in)actions also show - as I have argued from the beginning of the Covenant process - is that creating a central executive body to govern the Communion will not resolve any dispute. It will provide new channels for campaigning, new people to be lobbied, and a new location of decision-making which those in contention across the Communion will all try to capture.

The Primates would not all share the sacraments in Das es Salaam. Why should anyone think that the members of different body would do so? Elections to membership of the SCAC - or any other such body - merely replicate pre-existing divisions and carry differences and antagonisms into a small room.

Surely, well I would have thought, surely the goal should have been to enlarge the space of Anglicanism, not to reduce it - to make more room for difference and cultural specificity and theological debate, not to try to cram volatile material into an even smaller container.

I don't know if Orombi's letter will make much difference. That (a) he should have to put this in writing, (b) he has to circulate it widely, (c) it should be made public, and (d) he describes not only the sidelining of his preferred option (Primatial power) but also his personal feelings of being sidelined - are all signs of weakness.

Under such circumstances there are normally just two options: to play a long game to get back into a position of power and influence or to pick up the ball and go find some other game.