Monday, November 24, 2014 Local time: 21:21

News / Politics

Anglican Bishop Kunonga Hits Back Over Deputy Sheriff Eviction

Thomas Chiripasi, Jonga KandemiiriSithandekile Mhlanga
Ex-communicated Anglican bishop Nolbert Kunonga was Wednseday evicted from the church’s head office by the deputy sheriff but returned to the Harare cathedral breathing fire, accompanied by menacing bouncers who beat up security guards.
 
Officers from the deputy sheriff’s office removed property from the Anglican Cathedral and locked all church doors.
 
Some of the property still remained outside the church building late this afternoon while several companies that were renting church buildings at the cathedral from Kunonga, placed notices that they had left the premises.
 
The deputy sheriff deployed some officers outside the buildings and after a few hours later, Kunonga, who was calm during his eviction, made an emotional return to the cathedral accompanied by some bouncers who were visibly drunk.
 
Sources said the bouncers are based in Harare's Mbare high density suburb.
 
Pastor Gift Makwasha of the Avondale parish, who is loyal to the faction led by Bishop Chad Gandiya, said the guards who had been deployed at the church were beaten up by Kunonga’s bouncers.
 
Pastor Makwasha said a police report has since been made. Journalists from the Daily News and Newsday newspapers, who wanted to speak to Kunonga, were also threatened by the disgraced bishop.
 
Kunonga is alleged to have told them that he would open fire if they remained at the church premises.
 
Meanwhile, Kunonga has approached the court challenging his eviction despite the Supreme Court ordering him to surrender all the Anglican Church property to Bishop Gandiya’s group.
 
The case has been set for next week before judge president George Chiweshe.
 
Deputy sheriff Nicholas Chakanyuka led the eviction team and among the evicted tenants is Kunonga’s daughter, Runyararo, who sources say was running a childcare center with about 40 children.
 
Spokesman Precious Shumba of the Church of the Province of Central Africa said that Kunonga initially resisted eviction, refusing to surrender car keys.
 
Reached for comment, Zimbabwe Christian Alliance national director Useni Sibanda said Bishop Kunonga should peacefully vacate the church’s premises instead of subjecting himself to court-assisted evictions, which can be humiliating.

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