Posted by: Titus Presler | October 13, 2009

Consecration of Julius Makoni in Manicaland scheduled for Nov. 22

Informal reports have been received that the consecration of the Rev. Julius Makoni as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Manicaland, Zimbabwe, in the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa will be held on Sunday, Nov. 22, in Queens Hall in Mutare, the see city of the diocese.

Reportedly Makoni’s July 24 election as bishop was ratified by the province through its normal procedures.  There was initial conversation about holding the consecration at a location outside the diocese, on account of the continuing turmoil in the diocese (see earlier blog postings), but the argument prevailed that it was vital amid the turmoil to hold the consecration within the diocese.

Makoni comes from a major Anglican family in the diocese, his father being the Rev. Canon Alban Makoni, long the rector of Matsika Parish, which at various times has consisted of over 50 congregations.  His cousin Mark Makoni is a senior priest in Zimbabwe.  Julius Makoni has extensive banking experience as the principal executive of National Merchant Bank.  For some years he has resided in the U.K., where he studied for the priesthood and was ordained.  His wife Pauline is a daughter of the Rt. Rev. Peter Hatendi, retired Bishop of Harare and currently Acting Bishop of Manicaland, and his wife Jane Hatendi.

In the runup to the consecration, it remains to be seen how the ongoing conflict will play out between the CPCA and  the previous bishop, the Rt. Rev. Elson Jakazi, who has refused to relinquish office despite the CPCA and even the Anglican Primates Meeting stating he is not bishop of the diocese.  In the Diocese of Harare, where a similar conflict continues, the deposed claimant, the Rt. Rev. Nolbert Kunonga, sought to prevent ordination of the new bishop, the Rt. Rev. Chad Gandiya, with legal maneuvers right into the morning of the consecration on July 26.

Manicaland and the bishop-elect need the prayers of faithful Anglicans around the world, as do Harare Diocese and Bp. Gandiya there.  Following Jesus’ teaching, prayers should also be offered for those who contend against the duly constituted dioceses and province.

In preparation for his ordination as a deacon on 29 June 2008, the Diocese of Southwark in the Church of England published this brief biography of the now bishop-elect: “Dr Julius Makoni. A financial analyst and ceonomist before going to Cambridge to read Theology, Juius has worked for institutions such as Morgan Grenfell, the World Bank and Bankers’ Trust.  He established and was CEO of a bank based in Zimbabwe and listed on the London and Zimbabwe Stock Exchanges.  He is a director of a London-based financial services company, a board member of the a University Council, Visiting Professor at two University Business Schools and non-exclusive director of an international trading group.  He has published extensively in finance, economics and banking.  His interests include academia, music, flying and the martial arts.  Julius will be ordained by Letters Dimissory of the Acting Bishop of Harare” [at the time the Rt. Rev Sebastian Bakare, now retired]. 

At the time of Makoni’s election the Zimbabwe Times reported that he had been educated at St. Ignatius College in Harare and that he earned a B.A. and Ph.D. in finance from Cambridge University and an MBA from London University.  At Cambridge he studied at Westcott House; its website lists a March 2008 seminar by Makoni, “Globalisation and its Challenges for Christian Theology” and offers an 8-page paper by him on the subject.  He was ordained priest in the Diocese of Southwark on 9 July 2009 by Bp. Paul Williams.

On Sept. 22 The Zimbabwean published these comments from a telephone interview with Makoni: “’I feel overwhelmed, honoured and humbled by the appointment.  I have only just been ordained a priest, and the election as bishop came as a surprise.’  Asked how he would deal with the controversy that still rages in the Diocese of Manicaland, Makoni said: ‘I want to work with everyone concerned to try to make a difference.  I know that the diocese is in turmoil and I will do my utmost to return things to normal.  I will need prayer, tact and diplomacy.  Above all I want to serve the people of Manicaland and Zimbabwe.  Hopefully the courts will move soon to resolve all outstanding issues.’”

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