Open Letter to Zimbabwe's Anglicans

To be an Anglican in Zimbabwe is to suffer police harassment and state sanctioned violence. Ex-bishop Kunonga has the backing of the state and uses it to extend his reach and his grasp. 

President Mugabe has said there will be elections this year (though he first said they should be held by March and Tsvangirai is opposed). There is already increased pressure on NGOs and civil society bodies - just as preceded the last elections.


February 2012
Bishop Chad Gandiya of the Diocese of Harare 

To all the faithful in the Diocese of Harare CPCA,
Warm greetings to you all! May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.

We are writing to ask you to kindly take note of the following:

1. There is still a lot of confusion regarding the Diocese of Harare (CPCA) and the ‘Anglican Church in Zimbabwe’ also referred to as Province of Zimbabwe. We want to clarify this position to all our parishes and the members of the public so that our members can continue to congregate and worship God freely as members of the Diocese of Harare (CPCA) which is different, independent and has no communion with Dr. Kunonga’s ‘Anglican Church in Zimbabwe’.

2. The Diocese of Harare, Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion with over 70 million members. It is not a part of the ‘Anglican Church in Zimbabwe’ or Province of Zimbabwe which was formed and headed by Dr Nolbert Kunonga.

3. There is no confusion about the leadership of the two different churches.  The Diocese of Harare (CPCA) is led by  me  Bishop Chad  Nicholas  Gandiya.  The confusion is created in the use of the name ‘Anglican Church in Zimbabwe’ by Kunonga making it appear that any church in Zimbabwe with the designation ‘Anglican’ or that is part of the Anglican Communion is his church.  In the Anglican Communion, there is no Diocese or Province called the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe or Province of Zimbabwe.

Dr. Kunonga is deliberately playing on words and words associations to confuse people. Let it be known therefore, that the Diocese of Harare (CPCA) is a legal church organisation in Zimbabwe whose operations are above board. Anyone who disturbs the activities of the Diocese of Harare (CPCA)  is  breaking the law.

Christians anywhere in Zimbabwe when they meet for worship or church business do not need to be sanctioned by the police. You only need to look at the number of congregations throughout Zimbabwe who meet under trees to worship. They do not need police to give them permission to gather. Any police officer who demands any of our congregations to be sanctioned by them or Kunonga is simply abusing his/her authority, breaking the law and infringing on the constitutional rights of the people of Zimbabwe to assembly, association, expression and worship.

4. The dispute that remains between  Dr.  Kunonga and his Anglican Church in Zimbabwe and us in the Diocese of Harare CPCA centres on the properties that he took with him when he withdrew and was subsequently excommunicated from the Church of the Province of Central Africa and therefore the  Worldwide Anglican Communion in 2007. This matter is still before the courts and we wait for the final resolution of the matter by the courts of law in Zimbabwe.

5. The issue of homosexuality is also being used to confuse our members and members of the public. The position of the Diocese of Harare and the CPCA on homosexuality is clear. Canon 22.5 states that: “The Church of this Province believes that marriage, by divine institution, is a lifelong and exclusive union  and partnership between one man and one woman”. It does not encourage or approve same-sex unions or relationships.

6. As far as the Diocese of Harare (CPCA) is concerned, and as far as all those who are in communion with us are concerned, Dr. Kunonga is not a part of our church, and we are not a part of his church. Let no one be fooled by the deliberate confusion between the Diocese of Harare (CPCA) which is headed by me, Bishop Chad N. Gandiya and Dr.  Kunonga’s “Anglican Church in Zimbabwe”.

Kunonga is closely aligned with Mugabe
While the Diocese awaits the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe to determine the issues around the properties taken by Dr.  Kunonga, we are free to worship at any place and at any time that we find convenient other than our church buildings which he was given custodianship until the matter is resolved. There is no law in Zimbabwe that forbids us to worship God. The same applies to those who do not want to worship with us – there is no law in the statutes of Zimbabwe that forces any one to worship with someone they do not want.

In the name of God, please do not allow yourself to be fooled. If there are things about what is happening that you do not understand, please ask us and we will gladly explain it to you.

Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

With every blessing as you seek to draw closer to the Lord this Lent,
+Chad, Harare.
The Rt. Revd. Dr. Chad N. Gandiya
Bishop of the Diocese of Harare (CPCA)

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