The Herald (Harare)

20 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Kunonga Surrenders CPCA Properties

ARCHBISHOP Nolbert Kunonga of the Anglican Church of the Province of Zimbabwe says he has surrendered all property belonging to the Church of the Province of Central Africa and that he would abide by the Supreme Court ruling.

Speaking at a Press conference in Harare yesterday through his provincial diocese secretary, Reverend Admire Chisango, Dr Kunonga said he would forge ahead with his spiritual work despite the setback.

Dr Kunonga who was breaking his silence since the Supreme Court ruling said he would respect the court ruling that conferred ownership rights to his rival CPCA, ending a five-year legal battle.

Despite his presence at the Press conference, Dr Kunonga delegated Rev Chisango to speak on his behalf.

Rev Chisango fielded questions while Dr Kunonga answered "No comment" whenever questions related to him personally were asked.

Dr Kunonga said he would, at least for now, maintain his silence as he had delegated that responsibility to Rev Chisango.

In his address, Rev Chisango said all structures of ACPZ were intact, adding that on January 6, there would be a big Sunday for congregants in Chitungwiza.

He said the church commanded about 400 parishes and over 48 000 congregants.

Rev Chisango said the church was still setting up offices in Belvedere, near the Exhibition Park.

He said services would be conducted in schools, private colleges and other churches that had accommodated them.

On Sunday, he said members who used to worship at the Cathedral of St Mary and All Saints would meet at Queen Elizabeth High School.

In Unit G, Seke, people would be attending at Mabamba Primary School, P and G Primary School in Unit K, and Copas High School in Kuwadzana 3.

"ACPZ and its leadership has not been in hibernation. It's alive and kicking. Services will be conducted in various areas in hired churches and schools," said Rev Chisango.

"Many people thought that ACPZ has been disbanded after the court ruling.

"It has gone stronger with its leadership maintaining the stance which we took in 2007 condemning homosexuality which other churches may consider as any other sin.

"After the ruling we had to move out of the churches and we are grateful to other churches and schools who have come to our side. All our services are going on without interference."

ACPZ, said Rev Chisango, would continue denouncing homosexuality.

The ACPZ, he said, differed from most Anglican churches in that it observed Catholic beliefs where there is no re-baptism of Christians and re-ordination or re-confirmation of priests.

"Our church is apolitical, we accommodate every person from all walks of life," he said.

ACPZ, he said, had since acquired at least 10 stands to build churches.

"Miracles are happening in our church," he said.

Rev Chisango said the Anglican communion the world over was divided over the issue of homosexuality and ACPZ was part of the group that would no longer report to Lambeth Palace, the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury in London but would report to Jerusalem.

Rev Chisango said the court ruling, in a way, had come as a blessing in disguise to them as they have subsequently seen God performing miracles upon the church.

"Whatever happened was God's plan," he said.

Asked whether they had returned properties they were accused of holding on to, Rev Chisango said they had since surrendered everything belonging to CPCA.

"We have delivered all the vehicles to CPCA. That is why we are saying we do not hold grudges against anyone. We have done this not for the fear of anyone but for the fear of God and the law.

We are a law abiding church and everything we have done until the ruling was lawful," he said.

Rev Chisango castigated CPCA for victimising workers, saying employees belonged to the church and not to individuals or factions.

"These are workers and whoever comes in and sees it fit to dismiss them has an obligation to ensure that they are given packages," he said.

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