Cops, priests evict parishioners

A group of priests from excommunicated Anglican Bishop Norbert Kunonga’s faction reportedly teamed up with armed police officers to evict a group of worshippers aligned to the Bishop of the Anglican Church of the Central Province of Africa, Chad Gandiya, in Chivhu.

The forceful eviction occurred at St. Cyril Church and was confirmed by the Bishop for the Diocese of Masvingo, Godfrey Tawonezvi. He said the group of Kunonga’s priests and the armed police officers stormed the church building before worshippers had gathered for their Sunday service. He said the armed police officers declared that Anglican Church properties in the country were reserved for members of the Kunonga faction.

“The police told our followers to leave the church building saying that all Anglican properties in the country belonged to Kunonga. The police were armed and the dog section was also in attendance,” said Tawonezvi.

Tawonezvi said Kunonga’s priests who had been sent to enforce the eviction at St Cyril also vowed to take over all Anglican Church properties in the Diocese of Masvingo.

“After some time, our faithful went back into the church and were driven out by the police. Kunonga’s supporters changed the locks in the presence of the police and declared that Kunonga had taken over the St. Cyril Church with immediate effect. They promised to do the same to all Church properties in the Diocese of Masvingo,” said Tawonezvi.

He said that efforts to engage the Officer in Charge at Chivhu Police Station over the issue were in vain as police officers barred a delegation that had been sent to report the issue.

When contacted for comment, police spokesperson for Mashonaland East province, Bulisani Bhebhe, said he was not aware of the issue as he was out of the office.

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