Zimbabwean orphans in at a mission in Murewa district, Mashonaland East province, could be the latest victims of a long-running feud between two factions of the Anglican church as loyalists of ex-Harare bishop Nolbert Kungonga pursue evictions of clerics and others backing Bishop Chad Gandiya, based on a recent Supreme Court ruling.
The Deputy Sheriff this week ordered the eviction of Gandiya loyalists from St. John’s Mission and the Shearley Cripps Home orphanage in Murewa, home to about 100 children. Sources said the children had not yet been evicted, though.
Similar orders have been issued for Daramombe Mission near Chivhu, Mashonaland East, evicting the headmaster of the Daramombe primary school and nursing staff. Orders have also been sent for properties in Midlands and Masvingo provinces.
Bishops adhering to the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa, which named Bishop Gandiya to head Harare diocese after excommunicating Kunonga, said such orders should not be issued for properties outside Harare.
A spokesman for the Kunonga faction, Bishop Alfred Munyanyi, said the issue is not jurisdiction but property title deeds held by Harare diocese.
Munyanyi said that under the recent Supreme Court ruling, Kunonga is the head of the Harare diocese trustees and has the authority to seize all properties owned by the diocese, no matter their location.
Gandiya said the Supreme Court order concerned only Harare diocese, noting that while his group has appealed to the full Supreme Court, such evictions have intensified.
Christian Alliance Chairman Reverend Raymond Motsi told VOA reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga that he has urged all parties to desist from fighting.
Motsi said his organization sent Kunonga a letter on Friday urging Kunonga to respect the Anglican Province of Central Africa’s ex-communication decree.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. William Rowen, has sought a meeting with President Robert Mugabe during his scheduled visit to Harare next month.