2 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Gandiya Takes Over Anglican Properties

THE Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) yesterday said it had taken over most of the properties from defrocked Bishop, Nolbert Kunonga, following a recent Supreme Court ruling.

The court, a fortnight ago ruled that Bishop Chad Gandiya's faction was the rightful owner of the properties which Kunonga had grabbed.

Gandiya's press officer, Precious Shumba, said although the CPCA had faced resistance in some of the parishes, most of the buildings had been taken by midday yesterday.

"We have about 72 parishes across the diocese of Harare which covers Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Harare provinces," Shumba said.

"I can say we have made significant progress in repossessing our buildings, including the churches and rectories [priests' residencies] and most parishioners will tomorrow have their services in their churches."

The Supreme Court recently ended a five-year Anglican wrangle, stripping Kunonga of powers to control the church's buildings which he had been granted by High Court judge Ben Hlatshwayo in 2009.

The CPCA obtained a writ of execution and started evicting occupants of their buildings, including those who used the buildings to run crèches and schools.

Last week, buildings were repossessed in Mabelreign, Marlborough, Highfield, Glen Norah, Waterfalls, Mbare, Glen View, Tafara, Mabvuku, Kuwadzana, Ruwa, Borrowdale, Highlands, Chitungwiza, Goromonzi and Chinhoyi.

Shumba said the police initially failed to co-operate, citing lack of manpower.

This however, improved towards the end of the week as they assisted the deputy Sherriff in ensuring Kunonga's supporters moved out.

There were however some skirmishes at the Anglican Cathedral in Harare's city centre, with Kunonga and his faithfuls resisting eviction, citing an application they had lodged with the High Court seeking to stop their eviction.

Reverend Naboth Manzongo of the Gandiya faction, was hit with a brick in one of the skirmishes.

At least six Kunonga supporters were arrested in the confrontations.

Attempts to get comment from the Kunonga camp were futile, as its spokesperson, Admire Chisango said he was in a meeting every time he answered his mobile phone.

Kunonga's cellphone went unanswered.

in some churches, the evictions were carried out smoothly.

"Reverend Biggy Kamukombe was occupying our buildings in Marlborough and he did not wait for the deputy Sherriff to move him," said Reverend Samuel Sifelani said.

"We had a peaceful handover on Friday. The church which was renting our building has since moved," said Sifelani.

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