HomeLocal NewsKunonga invokes Mugabe in court

Kunonga invokes Mugabe in court

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DEFROCKED Anglican Archbishop Bishop Nolbert Kunonga says his rival Bishop Gandiya of the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) must be punished for campaigning for the imposition of sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and top Zanu PF officials.

Report by Everson Mushava

In submissions presented by his lawyer Jonathan Samukange before Judge President George Chiweshe yesterday, Kunonga said Gandiya’s church, whose origins are in Britain, supported the imposition of sanctions on Mugabe and his inner circle.

“The defendant and its officials and mother church spoke openly against the Head of State (Mugabe), its ministers, the Judiciary and anyone who had equal persuasion or shared the same political belief and would be seen actively castigating the government of the day,” Samukange said.

The Supreme Court recently ruled that Gandiya’s CPCA was the legitimate owner of the church properties that had been grabbed by Kunonga when the church split in 2007.

Kunonga was ordered to hand over the property to the CPCA.
Notices of eviction were served on Kunonga and his priests, but they remained on the properties until they were ejected by the Deputy Sheriff.

But Kunonga is now fighting to regain control of the properties at the High Court.

Citing the country’s indigenisation laws that require foreign-owned firms to cede 51 % of their shareholding to indigenous blacks, Kunonga said the church’s properties were Zimbabwe’s natural resources that should be enjoyed by locals.

He equated church assets to other resources such as land and minerals, arguing handing back the properties to Gandiya was tantamount to accepting neocolonialism.

“Plaintiff cannot claim ownership of property in a foreign land such as the United Kingdom, so must the defendant,” Samukange argued.
“The Anglican Church represented by the defendant did not accept the current political ideology of the government and Zanu PF in particular.”

Samukange also said he had proved in court that Kanonga’s Anglican Province of Harare was an independent church with its archbishop, bishops, priests and all the structures making it a complete church and allowing it to advance its own doctrine.

“We proved that the church had a registered constitution and it’s a completely new case now, different from the one ruled by the Supreme Court,” Samukange said yesterday.

Justice Chiweshe reserved his ruling to Monday after hearing preliminary arguments from both parties.

However, Gandiya’s lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu accused Kunonga of being contemptuous after he attempted to block the evictions.
Mpofu said the case lacked urgency.

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