The Anglican Diocese of Harare in the Church of the Province of Central Africa has appealed a recent chamber ruling by Zimbabwean Supreme Court Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku giving former Harare Bishop Nolbert Kunonga custody of all church properties.
The full bench of the Supreme Court sits as constitutional court in such matters.
Lawyers for the Anglican diocese on Wednesday filed the appeal arguing that Chidyausiku’s ruling is null and void because it contravenes sections of the constitution. It said Kunonga voluntarily left the church only to return with the support of the Zimbabwean police to eject Anglican parishioners from their longstanding places of worship.
The diocese charges that Kunonga’s agents, which it alleges are hired thugs, have threatened and harassed diocese clergy aiming to drive them out of churches and houses they occupy.
A statement issued by the diocese said Reverend Jonah Mudowaya was severely assaulted in Chinhoyi, the capital of Mashonaland West, on Wednesday this week.
Neither Kunonga nor his spokesman were available for comment. The Kunonga camp has 10 days to respond to the Supreme Court appeal.
Anglican Diocesan Secretary Mike Chingore said told VOA that the church decided to appeal to the constitutional court so a panel of justices can help to resolve the matter.