Zimbabwe Police Support For Sacked Anglican Bishop Uncovered
The operational order leaked to Radio VOP and dated 26 March 2010 shows the ZRP’s grand plan in support of Kunonga, who has been blocking Anglican Church members in Zimbabwe who support Bishop Gandiya, appointed recently by the Church of the Province of Central Africa, to access their church premises to worship. Gandiya took over from Sebastian Bakare who had been caretaker Bishop when Kunonga was ex-communicated by the Church of the Province of Central Africa in May 2008.
“To ensure that only one church is conducted and being led by the Kunonga faction,” reads the mission of the operational order.
The operational order orders all Officers in Charge of the various police stations in Harare suburban to “ensure that one church service is conducted by Kunonga faction” and to “deploy PISI details at all Anglican churches for intelligence gathering in their respective areas of policing” and to “deploy patrol teams to saturate their areas.”
At St Lukes Anglican Church in Greendale the ZRP recommended that 10 police details should be deployed at the church to barricade the place and prevent worshippers belonging to the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) from conducting a church service.
In January the Harare Diocese held a prayer meeting at the Africa Unity Square outside the Anglican Cathedral in protest against the ongoing persecution by local police that has prevented them from worshipping freely in their own church buildings.
Anglicans in Zimbabwe have faced on-going harassment and violence from President Robert Mugabe’s police force since renegade Kunonga was officially ex-communicated.
An avid supporter of President Robert Mugabe, Kunonga still claims ownership of the diocese’s Anglican churches and has supported the intimidation and persecution of Anglicans in Zimbabwe for opposing his and Mugabe’s leadership.
Bishop Gandiya succeeded Bakare, who served as the diocese’s interim bishop since December 2007, when Kunonga was deposed after illegally separating from the Central Africa province and installing himself as archbishop of Zimbabwe.
Despite a High Court order instructing Gandiya and Kunonga to share use of church buildings, Kunonga’s group is accused of locking up church doors every Sunday to prevent their rivals from entering the buildings to hold prayers, while the police have been on hand to chase away Gandiya’s followers every time they tried to insist on their right to use the churches.