The “elated” head of the Anglican church in Zimbabwe yesterday urged his parishioners to renovate dozens of churches they had been chased from by a breakaway bishop loyal to president Robert Mugabe – after the supreme court ruled the rogue cleric and his followers had no right to use them.
“Archbishop” Nolbert Kunonga and his priests have waged a six-year war against the Anglican church in the former British colony, cheered on by the Mugabe regime. Police have chased thousands from communion services, Anglican-owned houses, schools, clinics and orphanages.
Mr Kunonga’s claim to be a trustee of Anglican property was confirmed by a judge last year.
However, yesterday, three judges, led by Yunus Omerjee, upheld an appeal by Bishop Chad Gandiya, the head of the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa, and said that Mr Kunonga had “no right to possess and control the property of the church”.
“I am elated about the outcome of the supreme court hearing,” said Bishop Gandiya. “I want to call upon all our people to be gracious in winning the legal battle. Let the work begin!”
Mr Kunonga claimed he was “Africanising” the church that he left. He was awarded a white-owned farm under Mr Mugabe’s controversial land reform programme.