The Herald (Harare)

21 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Kunonga's ACPZ Splits Into Two

THE Anglican Church of the Province of Zimbabwe led by Archbishop Nolbert Kunonga has split with the one faction led by, Dr David Kunyongana announcing that they had formed another church called the Anglican Reformed Church of Zimbabwe.

Dr Kunyongana, who was a priest at Dzivarasekwa, Harare has been appointed vicar general pending the election of a bishop for the new church.

He once served as vicar general in the ACPZ until he was removed in 2010.

The church apparently is drawing its support from parishioners who used to belong to the ACPZ but resident in the suburb.

Dr Kunyongana broke away together with a handful of priests, who include Pastor Simeon Makove, who was recently reported by this paper as resisting eviction in Rugare parish by the Church of Province of Central Africa.

This followed a Supreme Court ruling that conferred rights of property to the Bishop Chad Gandiya faction.

The new church has since come up with a new uniform for both women and men.

The church is currently using a residential property in Dzivarasekwa and as a place to worship.

A brief service was conducted yesterday in the presence of The Herald where during a prayer, one priest said they were tired as a church of wasting time fighting court battles at the expense of worshipping God, drawing applause from the floor.

This was a clear reference to the litigation that has dragged for more than five years where Archbishop Kunonga was in a property ownership dispute with CPCA.

Dr Kunyongana yesterday said the church would make far-reaching changes to the canons, one of them includes putting a limit to the tenure of a bishop.

"The Anglican Reformed Church of Zimbabwe is a new church, an indigenous church that is community oriented. The reformation of the church shall be based on the following values - embracing Catholicism fully, Pentecostal and charismatic beliefs, prophesy and visions," said Dr Kunyongana.

"We believe that the term of office of a bishop should be limited to five years and if re-elected for another term of five years there shall be no term extension. Ten years in our acts and cannon is enough to sit on the bishop's chair," he said.

ACPZ spokesperson, Reverend Admire Chisango said they were neither moved nor surprised by the development.

"We are, however, baffled by the fact that they are embracing charismatic and Pentecostal beliefs. Once you do that you cease to be an Anglican," said Rev Chisango.

Dr Kunyongana condemned the use of the courts in resolving disputes.

"The Anglican Reformed Church believes that matters, disputes and problems should not be taken to secular courts. We will deal with our problems in love, harmony, forgiveness and unity," he said.

A source in the new church said there was confusion and uncertainty among parishioners by the long silence of Archbishop Kunonga after the Supreme Court ruling.

"When the commander is silent when you are in a battle, that creates confusion as troops would not know whether he has been shot dead or whether he has surrendered. That is what happened in this case," said the source.

"Another problem is that the church was now spending its energy in the court instead of worshipping," said the source.

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