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Who Will Replace Bishop Chad Gandiya As Harare Anglican Diocese Head?

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By Precious Shumba

 

The Anglican Diocese of Harare which is part of the Church of the Province of Central Africa is set to be choosing a new Bishop to replace incumbent Dr Chad Nicholas Gandiya during the year. Unlike when Bishop Gandiya was elected, I had a clear choice. I was clear, for good reasons who would be the next Bishop. During the time I recall some Priest who would always be at St Michael's Mbare National, strategising with the late Vicar General David Manyau. Baba Manyau was one of the front runners then to be the next Bishop. He lost to Bishop Chad Gandiya. I was very happy for Bishop Chad. I am not sure why but he impressed me in a lot of ways. However, this time around, I seem to be struggling to settle for a figure. Rev Mutete and Dean Farai Mutamiri seem to be the available options. But will these have the stamina to rein in errant priests and church leaders? Maybe by the right time i will have developed a better alternative to Bishop Chad. My only concern is that Archbishop Chama and Bishop Godfrey Tawonezvi are reportedly interested in running the Diocese o Harare, despite having served in their respective portfolios. As an Anglican I will be searching for all the necessary information regarding the processes and procedures to be followed until we have a substantive Bishop, and avoiding the treacherous route that excommunicated Bishop Dr Nolbert Kunonga forced the Anglican Church to follow, and forced us into Exile for nearly five years.

To me the Office of Bishop is highly Political, and is the centre of all Church politics, just imagine laity and clergymen all wanting to influence the Bishop to act in a certain way. This Office creates the stability and guidance needed to properly run a Diocese as big as Harare, and unifying in most respects.

The saddest development is when this Office is abused by either the Priests or Laity to do what they want, with minimal controls and guidance from the Centre. Harare Diocese is not a chaos Diocese. So as the Anglicans get ready to elect their next Bishop, the burden will be on a few individuals, six laity and six clergymen who will be part of the Elective Assembly. The others will come from the three Dioceses which will be delegated by the Church of the Province of Central Africa to provide the other nine electors, three apiece.

The dynamic is that if the 12 Electors from Harare fail to agree on a candidate, the likelihood of the next Bishop being imposed from among the contesting Bishops is very high.

Most clergy from across Zimbabwe, and in the Province love Harare Diocese because of its rich asset base and resources, so it is going to be an exciting time until we have the successor to our Bishop is elected.

Prayer and fasting should mark this whole process! While we shall be praying and fasting we shall not be sleeping, but finding common ground, and exposing all forms of attempted manipulation. Transparency should mark this whole process.

 

*Precious Shumba, An Anglican CPCA communicant and member of the VaBvuwi Guild writes in his personal capacity.

 

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