High court awards church properties to excommunicated bishop

Anglican Communion News Service reports that the Zimbabwe high court has ruled in favor of excommunicated bishop Norbert Kunonga:

Anglican priests and their families in Zimbabwe may face eviction following a High Court ruling awarding custodianship of Anglican church properties to excommunicated bishop Dr Nolbert Kunonga.

Bishop of Harare, the Rt Revd Chad Gandiya has predicted “distress and chaos” for Anglican priests living in church properties in the wake of the legal decision.

In a letter to supporters across the Anglican Communion, he wrote: “The Chief Justice has at long last given a judgement on an appeal we had made against Justice Hlatshwayo’s judgement of 24th July 2009 in which he intended to stop my consecration and also gave the custodianship of the diocesan properties to Dr. Kunonga.

“The Chief Justice should have given his judgement over a year ago. To our surprise and that of everyone else, thirteen months after his promise to give judgement, the Chief Justice has now reinstated our appeal but upheld Hlatshwayo judgement on the custodianship of the properties.

“You can well imagine the distress and chaos this is likely to cause especially for our priests who are living in rectories. I am very concerned about the likely disturbances to my priests and their families.”

. . .

“I am hopeful that common sense will prevail,” he said, “how can he [Dr Kunonga] be given custodianship of properties of an organisation or which he is not a member?” The excommunicated bishop left the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) in 2007 to set up a rival church. “If the Supreme Court do not return the properties to our church then we will have no other recourse,” said Bp Chad.

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