2 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Kunonga Must Make Peace With Gandiya

Photo: Facebook
Nolbert Kunonga


Excommunicated Anglican Bishop Nolbert Kunonga marked a new low in his fight for church properties last week when he resisted their lawful takeover by the victorious Bishop Chad Gandiya's faction.

Kunonga, who for the past five years has straddled the Anglican turf like a colossus, mocking Gandiya as a little man, was served with eviction notices after losing a protracted legal battle that ended in the Supreme Court.

The highest court of the land ruled in favour of Gandiya, who is the head of the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa.

Newspaper pictures of Kunonga, a once towering figure, forlornly sitting on a nondescript chair pondering his next move last week, depicted how the once mighty bishop had fallen.

But that was not the last of Kunonga, who claims to be fighting what is clearly an imaginary war against homosexuality in the church.

On Friday, his supporters put up fierce resistance and struck one of Gandiya's priests, Reverend Naboth Manzongo with a brick, leaving him with a deep cut on the head. This action was uncalled for and should be condemned in the strongest terms.

By being pig-headed in the face of a Supreme Court ruling that gives all properties to the Gandiya faction, Kunonga is going beyond what is expected of a peace-loving citizen: he is turning rogue.

Reports of Kunonga threatening to shoot journalists, and his priests being dragged screaming from churches is the last thing expected to come out of churches that should be places of worship.

After losing control of the church, Kunonga should have made peace with Bishop Gandiya, who is the rightful head of the Anglican faithful. He should allow all Anglicans to worship God, rather than to spend sleepless nights plotting against each other.

Kunonga should also stop day-dreaming and accept that he can no longer continue to derive material benefits from properties that do not belong to him.

That move could set the right tone for possible reconciliation of the two factions that have been fighting for the past five years.

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