Anglicans take Kunonga to court

Updated Friday evening

There are new reports from Zimbabwe on the developing controversy in the Diocese of Harare:

“The High Court of Zimbabwe will tomorrow hear an application by the Anglican church authorities over the ‘unbecoming’ behaviour of ousted bishop for Harare Diocese, Nolbert Kunonga who is alleged to be defying a High Court ruling ordering him not to interfere with church services.

The application, which comes two weeks after High Court Judge Rita Makarau ordered Kunonga not to interfere with church services conducted by acting bishop Sebastian Bakare at the church’s Cathedral of Saint Mary and All Saints in Harare, was filed by the church secretary, Reverend Christopher Tapera on behalf of the church.

Squabbles in the Harare Diocese of the Anglican Church started in September last year when Kunonga unilaterally attempted to withdraw the Harare Diocese from the Central Africa Province on allegations that the province did not openly criticize the appointment of gays into priesthood.

Court papers indicate that on January 20 Kunonga, who was in the company of one Reverend Munyanyi, disrupted services at the cathedral in flagrant violation of Makarau’s order.”

Read the rest here.

For more background on the situation you can see previous stories on the Lead here and here.

The ordination of Kunonga’s successor and rival Sebastian Bakare is scheduled for this weekend according to news reports.

Friday evening update

The High Court has ruled that Kunonga’s diocese “does not exist.” As reported by the Zimbabwe Independent

“Applicant (Kunonga’s Harare Diocese) cannot exist outside the constitution of first respondent (CPCA [Church of the Province of Central Africa]). It has no separate constitution of its own. It, therefore, has no structures of its own other than those set out in the constitution,” Hungwe ruled. “The assets under contention are assets which respondent lays claim to. The question of ownership of these assets is not presently before me.”

Hungwe said it was clear to him that Kunonga’s diocese was nowhere “near demonstrating that it has placed itself within the purview of those who confess to be Anglicans and who abide by the constitution” of their church.

“There is no claim that there was resolution of the synod of the diocese adopting this alleged breakaway (by Kunonga),” the judge ruled. He said Kunonga by breaking away from the CPCA violated the constitution of the church.

Read it all.

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