ELEVEN priests and 200 former followers of ex-communicated Anglican Bishop Nolbert Kunonga have reportedly defected to the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) led by Bishop Chad Gandiya.
REPORT BY FELUNA NLEYA
CPCA diocesan secretary Reverend Clifford Dzavo confirmed the development yesterday, adding that the returnees had since been accepted back after they asked for forgiveness.
“Eleven priests are now with us and these are priests from Kariba, Chihota, Hatfield, Avondale and Highfield,” Dzavo said.
“They came as individuals and talked to the bishop and they were told that the first step was to go back to their stations and ask for forgiveness from the congregants and be accepted back, and if they were accepted they would then go to the next step of seeing if they can be readmitted as priests.”
Dzavo added: “We readmitted Christopher Mokwena on January 8, after he asked for forgiveness and him being a remorseful person he was readmitted and is now practicing at Langham Girls’ High School.”
Some of the priests who have rejoined the CPCA include David Dlomo who was at St Martins Hatfield, Abraham Gwatidzo from St Paul’s Highfield, Obriel Marwisa from St Paul’s Kariba and the other two only identified as Nyanhete from St Mary’s Avondale and Kuudzai from St James Chihota.
When NewsDay contacted Mokwena he referred all questions back to the diocesan secretary.
“How come Rev Dzavo did not tell me? Please ask him to call me then I will talk to you from then,” Mokwena said.
Dzavo said the other five priests had not yet been interviewed.
The move by the priests and congregants follows a Supreme Court ruling in November last year giving Gandiya full custody of the church’s institutions and properties, effectively ending a five-year ownership wrangle with Kunonga.
Kunonga had led a breakaway faction from the CPCA and formed the Anglican Province of Zimbabwe on the basis that the former condoned homosexuality.
Efforts to get comment from Kunonga were fruitless as his former aide Reverend David Kunyongana said he had now broken ranks with the defrocked priest and formed his own Anglican Reformed Church of Zimbabwe.
Former Kunonga spokesperson Reverend Admire Chisango’s mobile number was also unreachable.