Police continue to persecute Anglican Church

Anglican Church

HARARE - Continuous disruption of church services by the police and the army, who have disregarded four High Court orders, is causing deep concern in the Anglican Church, says Bishop Sebastian Bakare.
The Bishop has taken the unusual step of issuing a statement condemning the actions by police and highlighting their abuses.

These (High Court) orders do not give any right to the police to interfere in the civil disputes in the Church affairs before the Court. Regrettably, all the Court orders are being disregarded by some individuals who give orders from above.The police are supposed to be the custodians of the law, but what we are experiencing as the Diocese of Harare proves that the have become a law unto themselves by accepting orders from above, he said.Police are supposed to uphold, protect the people of Zimbabwe and their properties without fear or favour and not to disobey court orders. This Godless behaviour displayed by the police officers of pulling up people who are in prayer and worship is not a true reflection of levels of lawlessness in Zimbabwe or in the force – but in individual police officers.
What we are experiencing in the Diocese of Harare CPCA indicates that Police do not only refuse to obey court orders but also show their unacceptable bias, Bishop Bakare added.On May 4, Holy Communion Services were disrupted through out the Diocese except for a few isolated churches in rural areas areas.
Then on May 10 and 11 parishioners in Kuwadzana, Highfield, Borrowdale, Waterfalls and Glenview were either beaten by police or harassed, interrogated , arrested and held in custody overnight without charges.
Referring to the activities of his defrocked predecessor Nolbert Kunonga, Bakare commented: The recent press statement in The Herald (5/5/2008) indicating that the ex-bishop, Kunonga, had been given the sole custodianship of the Diocesan properties is not true but a gross misrepresentation of the legal position and a distortion of the truth.The Diocese of Harare has a legal right and has the permission of the High Court to have access to and use of the Anglican properties and premises of the Diocese. Meanwhile, the Anglican flock of the Dioceses of Harare (CPCA) continues to be harassed by a few priests who are no longer Anglicans or members of the Diocese, including Kunonga assisted by the Police.

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