EXCOMMUNICATED Bishop Nolbert Kunonga’s Manicaland associate, former Bishop of the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA), Elton Madoda Jakazi’s allies have been ordered to transfer from St Matthias Tsonzo Mission School after being accused of conducting activities that are contrary to CPCA traditions.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
Both St Matthias Tsonzo Mission headmaster Edward Dumbura and his deputy Timothy Kuziwa were accused of conducting church services under the teachings of Jakazi’s Evangelical Anglican Church International, which is a CPCA splinter group.
The pair’s transfer from the mission school prompted them to file a constitutional application arguing infringement of their rights in particular the rights of equality and non-discrimination, freedom of assembly and association and freedom of conscience.
However, CPCA Manicaland Diocesan secretary Stanley Mbona urged the court to dismiss the pair’s application arguing the matter was not of a constitutional nature, but rather a labour dispute.
“I submit that the dispute between that parties is essentially a labour dispute and accordingly should be resolved at the Labour Court or some other appropriate platform.” Mbona said.
Mbona further said the school head and his deputy had been “conducting mass prayers which are characterised by people praying loudly at the same time . . . (and also they) had stopped students from attending a confirmation service conducted by the Bishop of Manicaland, The Right Reverend Dr Julius Makoni”.
In his founding affidavit, Dumbura said: “The 1st respondent (The Board of Trustees of the Anglican Diocese of Manicaland CPCA) is demanding that I should relinquish the position of deputy headmaster because I am not Anglican and on basis that the positions of headmaster and deputy headmasters have always been reserved for practicing Anglicans, which position I feel is unconstitutional.”
“I am not the only civil servant at St Matthias Tsonzo who does not go to the Anglican Church. Many other teachers go to various churches outside the mission during Sundays,” he added.
Kuziwa also added in his founding affidavit: “The 1st respondent has declared that no non-Anglicans can be headmaster or deputy headmaster. Such a circumstance is clearly direct discrimination and frowned by our Constitution.
“Discrimination will only be reasonable and justifiable if it serves some rational purpose or objective. Without such rational purpose or objective, the discrimination is insensible and constitutionally untenable.”
But, Mbona insisted that the only solution to the school’s problem was to “transfer the applicants to another school where they could practice their faith without causing any friction and without hindrance”.
The matter is yet to be heard at the Constitutional Court and both Dumbura and Kuziwa are being represented by Advocate Lewis Uriri.