Children go hungry

The conditions at the Shirley Cripps Orphanage have fallen drastically, following its invasion by thugs loyal to ex-communicated bishop Nolbert Kunonga.

Nolbert Kunonga
Nolbert Kunonga

The sisters responsible for running the institution were forced to flee and have been living in the wild while the orphans struggle to survive on rationed food.

“We hear that sometimes the food runs out at the orphanage and children have to rely on food supplied from nearby schools. This is especially bad for those children who have particular needs,” said a sister who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The sister has been living at Juru Growth Point along the Harare Nyamapanda

road after she was chased from her home by Kunonga’s followers. The Supreme Court last month upheld a High Court ruling which placed custodianship of the church properties in the hands of the bishop, who is an avowed supporter of President Robert Mugabe.

“The children are the ones who are suffering because the people who have taken over do not have their welfare at heard. I am not concerned much about myself, but about what the children eat and where they sleep,” she said.

Reverend Dzavo of the Central Province Church of Africa confirmed that the food situation at the orphanage had deteriorated.

“Yes we have received reports that the children are now being given food from outside sources and that our sisters are now at Juru Growth Point.”

In the past, children received a balanced diet thanks to donations from well-wishers, but Kunonga has said that he will not beg.

“We cannot sacrifice the Holy Scriptures, our human dignity or our African values, because of the love of money. We have rejected, and will continue to reject, financial assistance that comes with strings attached,” said Kunonga.

Precious Shumba, press officer for the CPCA, said that Kunonga was still looting church properties and material resources at the expense of the church members.

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