Anglican Bishop Chad Gandiya on Thursday held mass at Harare's Cathedral Church, the first time he's done so in five years after the building was occupied by the excommunicated Archbishop Nolbert Kunonga
On Monday the Supreme Court ordered Kunonga to hand over all church properties in his possession, ending a five-year feud that has rocked the Anglican church since 2007 when Kunonga pulled out of the Church Province of Central Africa (CPCA). He formed his own church, the Church Province of Zimbabwe, but held on to the CPCA properties.
Our correspondent in Harare, Simon Muchemwa, told us Bishop Gandiya led a two-hour mass Thursday morning which was 'overwhelmingly' attended by Anglican parishioners in the city.
But that joy was short-lived when police appeared and told Bishop Gandiya to stop using the facilities until a High court injunction, filed by Kunonga to stop the evictions, had been heard.
Kunonga filed the injunction on Wednesday seeking to stop his eviction from Anglican Church properties across the country, claiming that his priests would be rendered destitute. The matter has been sat down for hearing by Judge President George Chiweshe next Tuesday.
'Bishop Gandiya did not dispute the police order and the parishioners dispersed without an incident. They hope the High court will dismiss the application as they feel he has no case at all,' Muchemwa said.
Reverend Lameck Mutete told SW Radio Africa that he had foreseen a situation where Bishop Kunonga would fight to the bitter end to hang on to property that does not belong to him.
'His character does not depict a man of God but that of a thug who will one day find himself in prison instead of church. We are not yet done with him and I had seen it coming.
'He's one man who will go down fighting but for no apparent reason but selfish ends. We had long seen the evil in him and no man of God can behave the way he's doing. He has destroyed the church and I'm glad the judiciary system has also seen how unprincipled this man is,' Reverend Mutete said.