CIO blocks Anglican Church meeting

Security forces have once again reportedly barred a meeting by Bishop Chad Gandiya of the Anglican Church, that had been scheduled to take place at Jamaica Inn just outside Harare last Friday.

The crackdown came despite Gandiya’s petition to Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri condemning police action blocking Anglican Church gatherings in Mhondoro and at Peterhouse near Marondera last month, on allegations the meetings were not sanctioned.

Gandiya said the woman running Jamaica Inn had notified them members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) had instructed her not to host his members.

“She claims she was visited by members of the CIO last night, who instructed her to cancel our women’s booking.

“She was distraught and in great fear. She told our women what had happened and that they could no longer use the centre,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Last month Gandiya wrote to Chihuri expressing concern over the treatment he and other church officials received at the hands of the police after their confirmation service was interrupted at St Bernard’s School in Mhondoro.

They were charged with violating a Supreme Court order that granted authority over all Anglican Church properties to the breakaway faction led by the Zanu PF-aligned Nolbert Kunonga.

Gandiya, however, said St Bernard’s School was under the control of the Kadoma Rural District Council.

“I had gone there for a confirmation service.
“The local police had been informed about this church service even though it is not a requirement that we do this. Over three hundred people turned up for the church service and we confirmed 116 people.

“After the service, two local policemen based at Mamina approached me and asked me, the local priest and our church wardens to go to Mamina Police Station because their boss wanted to ask some questions about our service,” read the letter, dated December 27.

Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena, however, said he was not aware of the letter.

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