I am a criminal — Kunonga

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Excommunicated Anglican Bishop Nolbert Kunonga dismissed visiting Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams as a criminal and Bishop Chad Gandiya as “a silly man” before conceding he (Kunonga) was also a criminal.

He said the Anglican Church was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church 600 years ago and that deemed anyone in the Anglican Church, including Rowan and himself, criminal.

“Rowan is a criminal and so am I. We are both criminals so how can a criminal excommunicate another criminal from the church?

“I was not excommunicated . . . Gandiya is silly, he is a silly man himself for inviting a homosexual to this country,” said Kunonga while addressing a Press conference from the pulpit at the Anglican Cathedral in Harare on Sunday.

The bishop, who is on the warpath with the church which excommunicated him, has been on a property-grabbing spree. He has turned some of the churches he has seized into colleges and nursery schools, throwing members of the church aligned to Bishop Gandiya onto the streets, leaving schoolchildren and orphans without teachers or caregivers.

Kunonga defended his move, saying there was nothing wrong with turning churches into schools, saying history was littered with churches that have been turned into colleges and universities.

“Oxford University was a church and yet you want to raise issue when it happens in Zimbabwe. Cathedrals are universities and it is our place to develop people who want to grow and develop intellectually. I can’t deny those who want to emulate me a chance to do so. Remember I am also an academic,” he said.

On Sunday, members of the Kunonga faction held demonstrations outside the Harare Cathedral against Williams’ visit. They accused him of supporting same-sex marriages in the fractured church.

Worshippers gathered outside the church waving placards denigrating the visiting archbishop for promoting what the Kunonga-aligned worshippers have called sin.

Some of the placards read “No to homosexuality” and “Mr Rowan, homosexuality is abnormal”, a clear sign that the divisions rocking the church are far from over.
Kunonga claimed the demonstrators were drawn from all worship centres in Harare and had come voluntarily to demonstrate against Williams’ visit.

He told reporters some of them had even left the Gandiya-led faction over Williams’ visit.