Author Topic: Churches feel vulnerable after Mugabe reelected in Zimbabwe  (Read 299 times)

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Offline flowers

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Churches feel vulnerable after Mugabe reelected in Zimbabwe
« on: August 11, 2013, 03:58:21 PM »

The atmosphere in Zimbabwe after the reelection of strongman Robert Mugabe is not one of great celebration, but of tension. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the main challenger, says he will not join in a new governing coalition but is contesting the credibility of the July 31 vote in court.

Fears are on the rise in the capital of Harare, reports say, that under one-party rule, a host of Mr. Mugabe’s old partners, cronies, henchmen, and friends will start to come out of the woodwork to take advantage of the hour.

Foreign-owned banks, mines, and businesses have heard that, to fulfill a campaign promise made by Mugabe, their assets may be seized and restructured into a majority national ownership arrangement.

Now it appears the considerable property of the Anglican church in Zimbabwe, though it is mostly a black membership, may also be under renewed scrutiny by the unscrupulous.

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The chief Anglican bishop in Zimbabwe, Chad Gandiya, this week accused a renegade clergyman and friend of Mugabe of restarting a campaign using brutality, the courts, and police to seize churches, orphanages, and missions owned by mainstream Anglicans.

Mr. Gandiya told the Associated Press that Nolbert Kunonga, a defrocked bishop who stumped for Mugabe and last week called him a leader “sent from God,” is using the emotion around the landslide vote as an opportunity to seize property associated with the Church of England.

Several years ago Mr. Kunonga, who is US educated and has told The New York Times that he is a “superior person” to the other members of the Anglican clergy, began by legal and extralegal means to take over church properties, including the cathedral of Harare.

Gandiya told reporters that Kunonga this week sent thugs into his own home in Harare, where they stole cellphones and records of church holdings and personnel.

Gandiya also said that in the area of Murewa, outside Harare, local police are supporting Kunonga’s effort to take over a mission, and to evict 100 children from the Shearly Cripps orphanage, first started by British and American missionaries.

Anglican clergy and assets have been under attack in Zimbabwe for years as part of Mugabe’s long standing tryst with the West and its institutions of influence.

Mugabe is a Roman Catholic but has sought and found alliances with those in other faiths, like Kunonga, who share his anti-Western ideology.

« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 03:58:50 PM by flowers »

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