Kunonga grabs parish from Gandiya

HARARE - Ex-communicated bishop Nolbert Kunonga’s loyalists have launched a fresh bid to grab Anglican properties following last week’s takeover of St Luke’s Bvumbura Parish in Chikomba.

Kunonga formed a splinter group, the Anglican Church of the Province of Zimbabwe, after he was expelled from the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) in 2008.

He seized over 90 properties belonging to the Anglican Church before losing control of to Chad Gandiya in November 2012 following a landmark Supreme Court ruling, ending the two’s six-year-long battle which sometimes turned violent.

Last week, in total disregard of the court ruling, Kunonga’s loyalists, with the backing of local traditional leaders, Zanu PF politicians, and government officials, forced out Gandiya’s parishioners at St Luke’s Bvumbura, a Daramombe Mission Outstation, claiming it was their property.

Reverend Muyengwa Murombedzi, the Outstation’s priest-in-charge, yesterday told the Daily News that CPCA congregants had been ordered off the property by Chief Chivese and headman Razaro Gombiro Mudavanhu, to make way for Reverend Tirivanhu Mugomo, a Kunonga loyalist.

“Chief Chivese has ordered us to vacate the premises threatening us with arrest if we ever come back,” Murombedzi said.

“His aide, one Mushure, who is also a Zanu PF councillor for ward 16, even threatened to beat us up if we defied the order.

“The threats came after we had pointed out that the court had ruled that we are the bona fide owners of the premises.”

Chief Chivese declined to comment on his manoeuvres to allow Kunonga’s people to reclaim the church property.

“Who are you to question what obtains at my court? I cannot talk to you about that,” Chivese said before hanging up.

Murombedzi said Chivese told him the CPCA congregants should be confined to Daramombe, arguing that St Luke’s Bvumbura was not under the Anglican Diocese of Masvingo — an area under the ambit the CPCA.

Murombedzi said initially, Kunonga’s loyalists claimed that Chikomba district education officer Ngoni Mujuru — formerly Daramombe Mission School head — had earmarked the church for conversion into a primary school.

He said Mujuru had confirmed that to him, an allegation strenuously denied by the former.

“We have been having problems with Kunonga loyalists who continue to claim ownership of St Luke’s Bvumbura,” Murombedzi said.

“Today (Monday) Mujuru told me that indeed he intends to turn the church into a school.”

Lameck Tsoka, the officer commanding Chikomba district police, confirmed they were handling the church ownership wrangle.

“We have received reports of the wrangle from both parties and we have advised them to go back to the courts to seek redress,” Tsoka said.

“The problem is that while there is a Supreme Court judgment in favour of the Gandiya faction, Kunonga’s faction claims that they built the church, so as police, we cannot pass judgment.”

Critics say the DisPol’s move is surprising given that he must enforce a ruling of the Supreme Court and eject Kunonga’s thugs.

Chivese and Mudavanhu have been at the centre of the property wrangle between Gandiya and Kunonga for long.

Comments (10)

The work of the Devil is at it again. why? why? why? people are greed and selfish to fight for the worldly things. Kunonga is full of himself. Lets leave the property to him and pray in peace. Hapana panoenda nazvo kudenga.

hardlife - 18 December 2013

this chief mudavanhu is very corrupt. zacc should be called in here.

tozvitaura - 18 December 2013

why the reporter is trying to drag ZANU (PF) in to the muddy. ZANU (PF) has no written policy to interfer with religious or church issues. The Daily News has an unbridled hatred for Zanu (Pf), shame, shame, shame on you.

ivhu raramba - 18 December 2013

ZanuPF won saka he is back and he is back. This Chief Chivese idiot must be arrested for contempt of court who is he to overturn and ruling of the highest court in the land. But because zanupf won he may get away with it.

Maita Manyuka - 18 December 2013

It would seem like the devil will never tire from causing confusion in the house of the Lord. These are the effects of lack of rule of law. How can a police chief really shudder to execute his lawful duties and try to hide behind the excuse that the bereaved should go back and talk it over with the murderer. The supreme court ruling is there in writing unless the officer wants to tell us that he got his promotion through other means than competency. Do these police guys ever do criminal and civil law in their job requirements. My confidence in the police continues to be eroded with each day.

tomasi tohwi - 18 December 2013

Rev Murombedzi please tell the nation the truth of what transpired at the chiefs church court.Musanyebere wanhu.That church is a community church.Siyanai na kunonga he is building his own churches for ACPZ,for example at ST Oswalds Mhondoro. JJ

juma - 18 December 2013

I think its high time Kunonga should be shown that he can not just do what he wants with CPCA properties. Time is now to act against Kunonga.

Collin Naboth MWAYI - 19 December 2013

I think Police Officers should be thought Philosophy and Logic.Its not about who built the Church, no individual or community owns an Anglican property, individuals and communities can built but the Property belongs to the diocese. In the same manner the Diocese belongs to the Province. I n this regard if the Supreme Court ruled the the Anglican properties belong to the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa, that rule haidi even Grade 7 to interpret it.

tapiwa - 19 December 2013

this is a clear display of satanism by kunonga and his followers. i wonder if those on his side have brains. our dear chief how can you be part of such mischief ? bishop gandiya i am not one of your church member, but am a christian who understands what being a Christ follower means, my advise to you is that do not worry for those with you are greater than them, the one you follow is a victor and victory is yours. pray on B Gand, pray on

ndezvashe - 19 December 2013

varoyi kusanyara

brother - 20 December 2013

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.