Archbishop sees red in Mutare

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MUTARE — A handful of supporters from excommunicated Anglican Church Bishop Nolbert Kunonga yesterday barred visiting Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams from entering the Anglican Cathedral in Mutare.

Williams was on a visit to Manicaland where he met Church of the Province of Central Africa followers who were kicked out from worshipping in the church building because they are aligned to Bishop Chad Gandiya.

Williams later met about 5 000 worshippers at Mutare Show Grounds who had come to welcome him to Manicaland.

The placard-waving Kunonga supporters were denouncing Williams for allegedly supporting homosexuality in the church. Some of the placards read “Gandiya, Makoni and Bakare how can you invite (a) homosexual on our soil,” “Manicaland Diocese says NO to homosexuality” and “Williams go and read Romans 1 verse 26 and 1 Corinthians 6 verse 9”.

“They condone homosexuality and we are saying let’s stand together and say no to that because it’s not biblical,” said Reverand Dean Mwando of the Anglican Cathedral.

One of the demonstrators, Virginia Kasipa, said Kunonga followers stood by the Word of God which did not allow homosexuality.

“We as Christians stand by the Word of God and these are our principles. Williams supports gay marriages and this is against the Bible. We do not fellowship with such kind of people,” said Kasipa.

From the Anglican Cathedral in the city centre Williams visited St Augustine’s Mission School, 20 kilometres north of Mutare, where Kunonga’s supporters had again converged to demonstrate against him.

The boom gate at the mission school was locked and Williams and his entourage had to leave their cars outside the gate and proceeded into the school yard on foot. They again were not allowed into the church at the mission.

Williams only managed to have a few photos taken outside the church and had a few prayers at the Anglican nuns’ premises.

Williams’ entourage included Archbishop Albert Chama, Bishop Julius Makoni, Bishop Trevor Mwamba from Botswana and Bishop Gandiya.