asked Dr. Masiiwa Ragies Gunda, a leading intellectual of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe to comment on the situation in his church.

What impact will the Archbishop of Canterbury’s visit have?

I don’t think that this visit will make any particular impact, because Kunonga is not worried about the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has only a ceremonial role. 

Then how will the problems be resolved?

Up until now, the courts in Zimbabwe have not really gone out to answer the critical question: who owns the church property in Zimbabwe? The Chief Justice states that Kunonga is still in charge, recognizing him as still part of the Anglican Church, but that is not true since he left the Church. Unless the court answers who owns the property, this dispute will continue.  It is also quite unfortunate that the Chief Justice claims that the CPCA is bringing political interference into the court system, but then the Court is silent about the power Kunonga has over the police and the way he is disrupting church property. It seems that now the Chief Justice must recuse himself from this case.

Is this the beginning of a larger schism?

In Manicaland, there is almost the same problem [See Kunonga claims church properties in Masvingo Diocese]. Kunonga is spreading his influence outside the Diocese of Harare. In fact, Kunonga says he has created a province of Zimbabwe, so yes it is now a schism.  Although he has no clear leaders for Masvingo Diocese and the Central Zimbabwean Diocese and Matebeleland, Kunonga has a clear partner in Manicaland and has taken over the Daramonde Mission in Masvingo Diocese.

Clearly, Kunonga is a very powerful leader, whatever his connections are with the political forces, police, or the Chief Justice.  Knowing that he has all the backing he needs, he has moved to flex his muscles. Even the Minister of Education [who is of the opposition party] has been unclear about the teachers who have been kicked out of schools.