By Professor Matodzi
Marondera, September 25, 2015 – Perseverance has paid off for the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe as the church will on Saturday hold a groundbreaking ceremony to launch its university in Mashonaland East province.
The Anglican Church Diocese of Harare in the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) had long planned to establish the institution of higher learning several years ago but the plan was stalled owing to the legal fight for the control of the diocese’s church properties.
But Anglican parishioners resumed plans to launch their university project following their legal victory over the ownership of church properties after the Supreme Court in 2012 upheld an appeal by the CPCA led by gthe Right Reverend Bishop Chad Gandiya, and set aside two judgments that had been granted in favour of the Dr Nolbert Kunonga-led “Diocesan Trustees for the Diocese of Harare” entitling them to control of Anglican church belongings.
Professor Joseph Matowanyika, who is coordinating the establishment of the university project, told Radio VOP that the Anglican Church, which has been providing educational services at primary and secondary levels including at some church-run hospitals is delighted to see through the setting up of the institution of higher learning.Some of the church’s welknown schools include St Augustines and St David Bonda in Manicaland, Bernard Mizeki ,St John Chikwaka and All Soul Langham in Mashonaland and Cyrene and St James Nyamandlovu in Matabeleland.
“We feel elated that we have gotten this far. We are elevating our education services to university levels as we had concentrated at the secondary level,” said Professor Matowanyika.
Higher and Tertiary minister Professor Jonathan Moyo is expect to officiate as guest of honour.
Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs Minister Ambrose Mutinhiri, Archbishop of Church of the Province of Central Africa the Most Reverend Albert Chama,local regional bishops and clergy,are some of the dignitaries who will attend and preside over the university launch ceremony.
Professor Matowanyika said the Anglican University will mainly concentrate on providing studies related to bio-medical sciences and health services.
The Bishop Gandiya led Diocese of Harare (CPCA) had to resort to litigation to regain control of its church properties after they had been seized by Dr Nolbert Kunonga, who was ex-communicated from the church in 2008 after he tried to withdraw his diocese and formed the Anglican Province of Zimbabwe.
Apart from the Anglican Church, the United Methodist Church, Seventh Day Adventist the Catholic Church, the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe and ZAOGA among other churches have established several universities in the country.
Some prominent figures including Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri,former Reserve Bank Governor Dr Gideon Gono, former finance minister Tendai Biti and former environment and information minister Victoria Chitepo as well as former constitutional affairs minister Eric Matinenga are members of the Anglican Church.