ANGLICAN Province of Zimbabwe (APZ) Archbishop Nolbert Kunonga, who was excommunicated from the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) before allegedly leading a breakaway faction from the main church following their fallout over homosexuality, yesterday made a U-turn claiming he was still a CPCA bishop.Report by Charles Laiton, Senior Court Reporter
This was disclosed in the Supreme Court by Kunonga’s lawyer Tawanda Mutero Kanengoni assisted by Charles Nyika, who told the court that APZ was now a defunct establishment.
“The Anglican Province of Zimbabwe is now defunct and Kunonga is no longer called Archbishop.
“There has always been one Harare diocese since 2007,” Kanengoni said amid surprised murmurs from Harare Diocese Bishop Chad Gandiya’s members who were in attendance.
Gandiya’s lawyers Advocate Adrian de Bourbon and Advocate Thabani Mpofu dismissed Kanengoni’s assertion.
De Bourbon told the court, presided over by Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba sitting with Justices Vernanda Ziyambi and Yunus Omerjee, that Kunonga ceased to be a member of CPCA the moment he led a breakaway faction.
“We would not have been here if Kunonga was still Harare Diocese Bishop and recognising the authority of the CPCA,” de Bourbon said.
“He has not returned to CPCA because of the disagreements on the alleged fundamental beliefs over homosexuality and, as such, he has no right to deal with church properties that belong to CPCA.”
The Anglican church in Zimbabwe split into two five years ago, following Kunonga’s stance sparking a raging and often violent dispute over legitimacy and property ownership.
The dispute saw several High Court applications being made and the results thereof being contested by both parties, prompting the filing of the appeals at the Supreme Court. Kunonga’s five appeal cases were yesterday struck off the roll by the court on the basis of failure to comply with Supreme Court rules.
The struck cases were number SC118/10 pitting Bishop Elson Madoda Jakazi and another versus CPCA and two others, number SC72/08 for Kunonga and another versus CPCA and three others, number SC83/08 for Kunonga and another versus CPCA and three others, and number SC134/10 for the Diocesan Trustees for the Diocese of Harare versus CPCA.
The Supreme Court bench, however, reserved judgment in case number SC180/09 pitting CPCA versus Diocesan Trustees of Harare and case number SC130/10 for CPCA versus Kunonga and 10 others.