FORMER Anglican bishop of Harare Nolbert Kunonga last Sunday hired thugs to block the ordination of Bishop Sebastian Bakare as acting vicar-general
of the diocese at the cathedral in the capital, it is alleged.
Bakare, who is also the acting bishop of Harare, had to be ordained at the City Sports Centre instead.
Reverend Christopher Tapera, the acting diocesan secretary and Bakare’s spokesperson, yesterday confirmed that Kunonga hired thugs to stop the installation.
“We understand that thugs were ferried to the cathedral in lorries. We ended up using the City Sports Centre for the ordination,” Tapera said. “Kunonga’s actions were clearly in contempt of recent court judgements.”
The thugs were allegedly hired from Bindura, Mhondoro and Norton to stop the installation of Bakare, sources said.
The sources said the thugs locked up the cathedral in violation of High Court judge Justice Rita Makarau’s order a fortnight ago that Bakare and Kunonga were both entitled to the use of the church property.
“We had planned to have a combined service at City Sports Centre in the morning and the installation of Bishop Bakare at 2pm at the cathedral in line with Makarau’s judgement that gives us the authority to use the cathedral,” one of the sources said. “We later received information that Kunonga had thugs all over the cathedral. Kunonga and some of the thugs were, in fact, inside the cathedral.”
As a result, the source said, the installation had to take place at the City Sports Centre.
Another source said Kunonga resorted to hiring thugs after Justice Chinembiri Bhunu at the weekend dismissed his urgent application to stop the ordination of Bakare.
The Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) dean, Albert Chama, ordained Bakare.
Efforts to get a comment from Kunonga yesterday were in vain.
Last week, High Court judge Justice Charles Hungwe ruled that Kunonga’s diocese could not exist at law outside the constitution of the CPCA.
Hungwe said this when he dismissed an urgent application by the diocese represented by Kunonga for a spoliation order against the CPCA and Bakare.