The latest turn in a long-running battle between rival factions of the Anglican Church in Harare, Zimbabwe, has seen parishioners adhering to the authority of the church's Central African Province opposed by former Harare Bishop Nolbert Kunonga found themselves barred by police recently from a church they had recently built.
The parishioners had been excluded for years from existing churches under Kunonga's control.
The parishioners purchased land and built a new church but were shocked when police officers arrived with Kunonga last week to seize the premises. The parishioners recognize the authority of Anglican Bishop Chad Gandiya, who was appointed last year by the Province of Central Africa to the bishopric from which Kunonga resigned.
A police officer confirmed to VOA that the parishioners had been evicted but refused to comment for the record.
Attorney Michael Chingore, representing the parishioners loyal to the Province of Central Africa, said parishioners are angry Kunonga, closely allied to President Robert Mugabe, has the political muscle behind him to continue inflicting pain on the Anglican Christians wherever they go, having barred them from their longtime churches.
A spokesperson for Kunonga said that his wing of the church would not respond to questions from the media.