Posted by: Titus Presler | December 5, 2009

Harare Diocese conflict intensifies, Bp. Gandiya “very concerned”

“Held a meeting with all our churchwardens to alert them to Kunonga’s increased destabilisation activities tomorrow,” wrote Bp. Chad Gandiya, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Harare in Zimbabwe in a text message today.  In the abbreviated style of text messaging, the bishop concluded, “Weddings have been stopped, tomorrow is very uncertain.  Our people’s patience & tolerance is stretched to the limit.  People are angry & I am very concerned.  Pliz pray for us.”

Indeed, let all with concern for Body of Christ as expressed through the Anglican Communion in Zimbabwe pray for the congregations, church wardens, clergy and bishop of the Diocese of Harare during the difficult time.  “Tomorrow” in the bishop’s message refers to the Sunday liturgies of the hundreds of congregations of the diocese, which is spread over the north-central part of the country.

“There have been all kinds of disruptions,” Bp. Gandiya said in a subsequent telephone conversation.  “We have instructed all our people to be vigilant and not to let anybody bulldoze them.  Our prayer is that there will not be further disruptions tomorrow.”

Most Anglicans in the diocese are loyal to the Church of the Province of Central Africa, the entity recognized by the Anglican Communion, and the congregations continuing with breakaway Bp. Nolbert Kunonga are often just a handful of people.  It appears that these facts on the ground, instead of suggesting to Kunonga that he fold his tent, have prompted him to resume trying to wrest control of buildings and resources by brute force.  The fact that the Zimbabwe Republic Police have not been helpful recently in ensuring that the legitimate diocese can hold services and the like in its buildings raises the key question whether the national government is siding again with Kunonga after a period during which it appeared to have turned away from the breakaway movement.

For details of the conflict see other postings on this blog under the category, Anglicanism in Zimbabwe.  For Bp. Kunonga’s understanding of the issues that led him to attempt to withdraw the Diocese of Harare from the CPCA, see here the transcript and audiofile of his 17 September 2007 interview with Nehanda Radio.

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Responses

  1. I am an Anglican priest in Kenya and know the issues of the Anglican church in Zimbabwe, having worked in Manica (Mozambique) for over 5 years. I have even had time to talk to Kunonga and discovered the man is very far from being a Christian. His tenure is linked to Mugabe’s tenure. As soon as Mugabe leaves office Kunonga’s clinging to power will wane. Let all people of good will pray for Bishop Chad.


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