Below, RelZim.org provides full text of the ten-page Dossier about the persecution of the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa that Archbishop Rowan Williams submitted to President Robert Mugabe at the meeting in Harare last week.
As reported by The Herald on October 12, Rev. Admire Chisango of the Church of the Province of Zimbabwe said that most of the issues in the Dossier were false.
For the attention of H. E. President R. G. Mugabe
We, the Archbishop and Bishops of the Anglican Province of Central Africa (CPCA),
hereby submit a dossier of abuses committed against our Anglican dioceses in
Zimbabwe over the last four years.
Since 2007 Anglican congregations have suffered systematic harassment and
persecution at the hands of the police, often in direct contravention of court rulings.
Details of this litany of abuses, which include false imprisonment, violence, denial of
access to churches, schools, clinics and mission stations, are outlined below. In the
dioceses of Harare and Manicaland properties belonging to the Province have been
It is a matter of the greatest sadness that we are being prevented from continuing our
work to support local and often very needy communities with healthcare and
education. Our priests and people are being denied access to our own clinics and
schools. Many of these institutions have been taken from us and under current poor
or corrupt management are being rapidly run in to the ground and stripped of their
assets. Details of this unwarranted activity and the impact on local communities are
also included in this report.
Every week tens of thousands of Anglicans are denied their basic right to worship
because of the lies and falsifications being propagated by the now excommunicated
former bishop, Dr Kunonga, and his associates.
Nolbert Kunonga and Elson Jakazi chose of their own volition to leave the CPCA in
2007. They are no longer recognised as bishops or leaders by their former flocks, by
the CPCA, by the Anglican Communion worldwide or by national and international
ecumenical bodies. We express our thanks to our brothers and sisters from other
churches that have supported us as we seek to communicate these facts.
Despite all of the abuses and intimidation we continue to humbly serve our
communities in every way we can. We seek peace and reconciliation for all in our
country and desire to play a role in promoting healing and prosperity for this great
Furthermore, let us state for the record that the Anglican dioceses in Zimbabwe have
never aligned themselves with any political party. There is no evidence to suggest we
are anything other than loyal citizens of Zimbabwe. We also totally reject the
misrepresentation of our church as not holding to the Church’s traditional teaching on
marriage. This is wholly untrue.
We are dismayed that our continued calls for justice go unheard. Meanwhile threats
made to our personal freedoms and security have continued to multiply over the last
We respectfully ask that you, as Head of State and of the Executive in Zimbabwe, put
an end to this illegal harassment by some members of the police, whose mandate is to
protect civilians, and allow us once again to use the properties which are rightfully
ours so that we may worship God in peace and serve our communities and our
Archbishop Albert Chama (Primate of the Province of Central Africa)
Bishop Chad Gandiya (Harare)
Bishop Godfrey Tawonezvi (Masvingo)
Bishop Julius Makoni (Manicaland)
Bishop Cleophas Lunga (Matabeleland)
Bishop Ishmael Mukuwanda (Central Zimbabwe)
Bishop Trevor Mwamba (Botswana)
DOSSIER OF ABUSES COMMITTED AGAINST THE ANGLICAN DIOCESES OF ZIMBABWE
CHURCH OF THE PROVINCE OF CENTRAL AFRICA
2. Violence and intimidation
3. Church gatherings and Sunday worship
6. Relief and development programmes
8. Clergy training and housing
9. Concluding remarks
The Anglican Church in Zimbabwe has been under attack from the excommunicated bishop, Dr
Nolbert Kunonga, since 2007. Dr Kunonga and Elson Jakazi with the support of some police
have seized property belonging to the Church of the Province of Central Africa, to which the
Anglican dioceses in Zimbabwe belong. They have used violence and intimidation to break up
church services, and deny people their basic right to worship. In addition the dioceses have
lost huge sums of money through legal bills, rentals for offices and other diocesan activities as
well as for church services. The quality of service delivery by diocesan institutions like schools
and hospitals has been seriously affected through illegal seizure of assets.
2. Violence and intimidation
Violence and intimidation has been a hallmark of this struggle. Intimidation is a daily
occurrence. Parishioners are not only denied access to their churches, but increasingly are
threatened with punishment if they worship at all or attempt to carry out their ministry to the
Priests and deacons are arrested without charge on a weekly basis, often on a Friday, allowing
the police to hold them over the weekend without charge, so that they cannot minister to
their congregations. Many of these are elderly priests. Even when priests are not arrested
they are threatened with violence by armed men.
Many members of our congregations have been assaulted and have needed hospital
treatment. There are numerous incidents of whole congregations being tear-gassed and
The Zimbabwean bishops have received personal death threats by phone, in person and at
On 18th February 2011 Mrs Jessica Mandeya of Harare Diocese was murdered. Her body was
not discovered for two days until Sunday morning when friends came to join her to walk to
church. We have information which very strongly suggests that she was murdered because
she belongs to the Diocese of Harare CPCA. She had received threats to that effect in
preceding weeks and days as she consistently refused to join Dr Kunonga’s Church.
3. Church gatherings and Sunday worship
In Harare the police have disrupted church services and have been using tear gas and baton
sticks to drive people out of church buildings. As a consequence most churches lie empty each
Sunday, except where a handful of Dr Kunonga’s priests and their families are able to occupy
them. Several thousand people are thus denied access to their churches each Sunday.
For two years now people have been denied access to the Bernard Mizeki Shrine for their
This pilgrimage has significance not just for Zimbabweans but for those in
surrounding countries. In 2010, just as people from all over the country and beyond started
converging at the Bernard Mizeki Shrine just outside Marondera. Police turned up in full force 5
and drove the pilgrims away. The police took this action despite assurances the bishops by
government that they would not be disturbed or harassed by anyone. One of the Ministers of
Home Affairs recently appeared on television assuring people that they would not be
disturbed and that they would be protected at the shrine, but this is far from the reality on the
ground in Marondera. This year, 2011, Anglicans were told that they would be denied all
access to the shrine at all.
The Diocese of Masvingo was denied its annual pilgrimage to the Arthur Shearly Cripps Shrine
in August 2011. The District Police Officer commanding also wrote to the diocese asserting
they had no right to go to the shrine and the police forcibly took church properties in Chivhu.
The Priest-in-Charge for Chivhu was also detained without charge.
The diocese was also prevented from holding its annual St. Benedict Guild Conference,
planned from the beginning of the year to be held at Daramombe Mission from 11th-14th
August 2011. They used Daramombe Beit Hall as a conference room but were denied access
to the church which had been locked by Dr Kunonga. On 12th August 2011, Dr Kunonga’s priest
Mr T. Mugomo went to Chivhu District Police Office where he submitted false claims of
ownership of the Mission. Dr Kunonga has never been able to produce any supporting papers
to substantiate the claims. Mr T. Mugomo also claimed the youth had attacked him. A few
hours later, two police officers were deployed from Chivhu to check the reported situation at
the Mission. They moved about the Mission, only to find a totally different scenario of
St Benedict Guild youth going about their business without interferening in any way with Dr
Kunonga’s priest. After their return to Chivhu, three other police officers from Chivhu arrived
later in the afternoon and told the three Heads of Departments (namely, the High Head, the
Primary School Head & the Priest-in-Charge) to accompany them to the Police Station in
On Sunday 31st July 2011, Dr Kunonga, in the company of two of his bishops Harry Mambo
Rinashe and Elijah Masuku (and other individuals they came with from Harare) and seven
police officers from Chivhu, arrived at Daramombe Mission before 6 am. Church services for
students at the High School and for parishioners had to be cancelled. Dr Kunonga and his
company forced their way in to the Daramombe church via a window, conducted a service and
thereafter held their meeting in the church until 1pm. After this they demanded the keys for
the church & rectory from the Priest-in-Charge (Ven. Murombedzi) who refused to surrender
In Manicaland the Mothers’ Union 2011 National Conference was held at Mutare Teachers’
College where US$20,000 was charged for accommodation and other facilities. Far less could
have been spent if the conference was held an Anglican Mission School, and the money would
then have been spent on community development programmes.
The Diocese of Harare has ten primary and ten secondary schools and one nursery school
(St Nicholas Nursery School for infants). These have all been taken over by Dr Kunonga who
has removed suitably qualified headmasters and replaced them with those he has handpicked without any reference to the Ministry of Education, Sport, Art & Culture. The result of
these actions is that academic standards have fallen to pitiful levels.
Arthur Shearly Cripps Children’s Home, which looked after about one hundred orphans, was
taken over in August 2011. The Sisters who had been trained to run this institution were
evicted and are having to pay rent at the local township where they are now accommodated.
The Diocese of Manicaland has twenty four primary schools and twelve secondary schools, six
of which are boarding secondary schools. Of these primary and secondary schools, only five
secondary and sixteen primary schools are currently still operating under the CPCA. Just like
any other school in the country, these schools are very crucial agents of development. It is
pleasing to note that some Anglican Church boarding schools like St David’s Bonda High
School, St Faith’s High School, St Augustine’s High School and St Anne’s Goto High School are
among the best schools in Manicaland. They are all boarding schools that can accommodate
between 800 and 1000 pupils. However the work of all these schools has been seriously
hindered by Mr Jakazi’s interference. He has mainly targeted the boarding schools, which have
a great deal of infrastructure and where he can also demand large sums of levies to help
finance his activities.
For example: At St Anne’s Goto High School Dr Kunonga and Mr Jakazi went and caused
havoc at this Mission on the 11th May 2010 claiming to have control over the school. They
broke the gates and forced everyone in the Mission in to the church to address them. They
were accompanied by police who were assisting them in their operations. They intimidated
the whole Mission and gave a command that they should all be loyal to their priest that they
were imposing, Rev Mudhumo, who is actually under investigation for embezzlement of funds
in the Mission. Dr Kunonga threatened to close the school if people were not loyal to Rev
Mudhumo. On the following Sunday (16th May 2010) Hwedza police came to St Anne’s Goto
and disrupted a church service being led by Rev Mavhezha who has always held services
there. Eight elderly ladies were beaten up. Among the police who beat the elderly ladies
were Constables Dube and Vhimai.
Pupils were threatened. It is alleged that Mr Jakazi and Dr Kunonga made an attempt to close
the school through the Marondera Education Provincial Office because they were failing to
force their way in to controlling the school. Many teachers have been and continue to be
intimidated. It has been made clear that the moment the CPCA priest is seen in the school he
will be arrested by police who always say they are acting on instructions. The pupils have
church services without a priest and they do not receive the pastoral services of a priest. To
aggravate the Mission’s plight, some pupils and teachers have been threatened and victimized
by Mr Jakazi and his priests. Living in fear has de-motivated both students and teachers.
Two school construction projects have been interrupted. Construction at the Girls’ College in
Reshape and the Bishop Knight Bruce School in Mutare has been suspended. Some of the
funders who were keen to see the projects to completion have been frustrated by Mr Jakazi’s
office. Their help has not been accepted. The CPCA has not been able to complete the
projects because of the fear of wastage of resources.
Mission schools in Manicaland have been prevented from hosting National Youth
Conferences. They now have to resort to hiring buildings at high cost which prevents many
youth from attending and benefitting from spiritual, social, physical, and economic capacity
building, which is facilitated by experts invited specifically to help the youth. Many youths are
missing out hugely on such opportunities.
Teachers and students at the High School at Daramombe Mission have also been intimidated
and told not to associate with their legitimate priests who serve them. Dr Kunonga has begun 7
trying to change the departmental leadership, by serving them with illegal eviction orders, and
attempting to bring in his own people to head the respective departments within the Mission.
Authorities have since told Dr Kunonga not to interfere with the Diocese of Masvingo,
although he continues to do so.
Learning has been disrupted at Daramombe High School ever since the High School Head, who
is one of the school account signatories, was evicted and the High School SDC is no longer
recognized by Dr Kunonga. It is feared that standards may fall to rock bottom if Dr Kunonga is
not stopped immediately. Daramombe High School is the pride not only of the Church but the
District, Province and the nation in terms of academic standards. Last year the school was in
fourth position for ‘A’ level results and third position for ‘O’ level results.
Dr Kunonga has a history of destroying each school he seizes. Clear examples (although there
are many more) include:
• St John’s High School (Chikwaka) in Goromonzi District
• Langham Girls High School in Centenary
• St Mark’s Chirundazi High School (in Mhondoro)
• St Oswald’s Zimhindo
Surprisingly the District Education Officer for Chikomba (Mr Ngoni Simon Mujuru) [who is also
a former Head of Daramombe High School, and was removed by the Ministry due to
mismanagement of school funds and property], is abusing his authority. Without following
any Ministerial policy, he facilitated the handover-takeover for Primary and High School
Headmasters and appointed his own stooges. The CPCA questions the procedure which the
District Education Officer used in demoting the affected Headmasters. The CPCA also queries
how a substantively appointed person can be demoted by a DEO, without any charge of
misconduct or the knowledge of the PED, the Permanent Secretary and the Minister.
Moreover, it is not anyone’s responsibility except the Ministry of Education to expel a teacher,
more so without any charge for an act of misconduct.
Manicaland diocese has been denied access to its numerous health facilities, which have
faithfully served their local communities for generations. These included St David’s Bonda
Mission Hospital, St Augustine’s Mission Clinic and St Peter’s Mandeya Clinic. Donations of
much needed drugs and equipment are now prohibited by Mr Jakazi. To the disappointment
of the community around St Peters Mandeya Clinic in Honde Valley area, Mr Jakazi’s priest
instructed the clinic staff to refuse to accept the donated drugs. Tragically two people died
needlessly that same day when the drugs were rejected. The drugs they needed were among
Honde Valley is a malaria prone area and clinics in such areas need to be always adequately
stocked with important drugs. It is sad to note that standards have drastically fallen in some
former Anglican Mission Hospitals and Clinics because they have refused to accept these
donations. Patients who normally would be treated at these facilities have had to be
transferred to other hospitals because of malfunctioning or obsolete equipment that would
have been replaced using rejected grants. Lives that could have been saved have been lost as
a result of these diminished standards.
Administrators, doctors, nurses and other workers in Mission Institutions under the control of
Mr Jakazi have been compelled to comply with Mr Jakazi’s instruction to refuse to accept any
money, drugs or any form of help that comes through the Anglican Diocese of Manicaland
CPCA, in order to protect their jobs and their livelihoods. Experienced staff have transferred
to government or non-Anglican Church Hospitals. Many who have endured these
intimidations and threats have become extremely de-motivated, which has seriously retarded
The Daramombe Clinic has been reduced to being run by a single nurse who is loyal to Dr
Kunonga. She has caused problems at Daramombe Mission Clinic since January this year, after
she refused to comply with an approved lateral transfer to Gandachibvuva Mission Hospital
(where she herself had applied to go). Moreover, she was never under the Daramombe
Mission Clinic’s staff establishment, because she came as a relief nurse and is still a relief
nurse—but relieving no one, as our staff compliment was normal without her. We have
presented the various cases of clinic staff’s evictions to the Provincial Medical Director’s
(PMD) Office in Marondera for further action. A Clinic which is the size of a rural Hospital,
with a Maternity Home and wards, cannot be run safely and effectively by a single nurse.
6. Relief and development programmes
Development programmes initiated by the Diocese of Manicaland benefit significantly from
the infrastructure in the Mission Schools. A good example is St Augustine’s Mission School.
One section of the Mission has been set aside as a Training Centre. Examples of workshops
run in this Centre include HIV and AIDS workshops, and Relief and Development workshops.
Use of diocesan infrastructure serves to minimize the costs of running these programmes
through the provision of accommodation free of charge. Mr Jakazi’s interference at St
Augustine’s Mission has made this impossible. As a consequence, these programmes have
been seriously affected because the hire of alternative venues has been very expensive, and
this is unsustainable.
Currently the Anglican Relief and Development in Zimbabwe (ARDeZ) is running the Umoja HIV
and AIDS programmes, using rented accommodation. Were St Augustine’s facilities being
used, costs would be reduced by around fifty per cent, and the number of beneficiaries would
The diocese of Harare has been prevented from carrying out many relief programmes by being
denied access to its schools. In 2008 it received funds to purchase water purification tablets
during the cholera epidemic, and basic medicines, but was prevented by Mr Kunonga from
distributing these through clinics and schools. Instead the diocese had to rely on
congregational networks, making distribution much more difficult. The diocese has been able
to distribute seed to farmers, but this has also been hampered, by lack of access to church
buildings as key distribution and registration points. And the diocese has been denied access
to Runyararo Skills Centre, where school dropouts were equipped with life skills.
The Diocese of Harare is currently renting offices at a cost of some US$1600 per month. The
diocese has been denied access to its own offices at Pax House, which, as well as housing the
diocese, provided a source of income for the Diocese worth around US$3000 per month. This
income was used to fund social programmes and the running of the diocese. In addition to
this, parishes have been forced to rent space from other churches and institutions, paying on
average between US$300 and US$400 per month. Mothers’ Union has also been forced to
rent space for some of their meetings.
The Diocese of Manicaland is currently renting offices that cost about US$2000 per month.
The diocese has been denied access to its offices at 113 Hebert Chitepo, Mutare, which has
three floors and about fifteen rooms on each floor. Similarly to the Diocese of Harare, were
the Diocese of Manicaland using its own office complex, it would generate a further US$2000
or more per month in rental income from two floors (extra free space) within the complex
which Mr Jakazi now occupies and has refused to vacate. Under normal circumstances rental
income from the extra space would cover all the diocese’s administrative costs and part of the
diocesan clergy’s stipends. And the US$2000 per month which now pays for rented office
space would normally be used for various developmental projects in the diocese. Originally
many diocesan programmes, projects and activities were undertaken within this complex, but
this has been made impossible. Many church buildings and priests’ houses have been taken
over by Mr Jakazi. Congregations have been affected by the loss of their property in the same
manner. They have been forced to rent accommodation for priests, and halls for their church
8. Clergy training and housing
Sixty-five priests have been evicted from their rectories in Harare Diocese and forced to stay in
rented accommodation, paying rent on average of US$450 each per month. An equal number
of churches have been taken over resulting in the majority of the parishes paying rent of
approximately US$200 per month for the varied places where they now worship. There are a
few parishes which have been offered such places of worship free of payment.
In August 2011, police attended Bishop Gaul College, Harare, and served eviction papers to
our principal, Friar Joshua. They padlocked the library before they left. The college is not a
diocese of Harare institution but belongs to all five dioceses and indeed to the Province
(CPCA). Loss of the books we have there would take us back many years. The diocese now
pays about US$800 per month for rental of space for our theological education programmes
that cannot be run at Bishop Gaul College.
The Diocese of Manicaland has a clergy training programme, Zimbabwe Theological Education
by Extension (ZIMTEE) and Lay Leaders’ workshops which would normally be run at St
Augustine’s Mission. Clergy retreats would sometimes use the Mission as a venue too. For
the last week of every month the Clergy on the ZIMTEE programme are supposed to have a
one week tutorial session. It has become impossible to hold formal tutorials at St Augustine’s.
Occasionally the Diocese has been able to afford to hire an external venue for the ZIMTEE
tutorials, but such a venue is usually not conducive to study, prayer and reflection. Lay
Training workshops and meetings cannot be held in our own institutions either.
9. Concluding remarks
We would like sincerely to thank various denominations including the Roman Catholic Church,
Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, United Methodist Church, Lutheran Church, Reformed
Church, Presbyterian Church, United Church of Christ and Mugodhi Church and others, who
have generously allowed some of our congregations to use their church buildings. We know
that some of them have been threatened but have continued to offer us accommodation.
Others have painfully told us to stop using their buildings after being threatened. We do not
hold it against them. We understand the gravity of those threats and we would not want any
denomination to go through what we are currently going through. We would like to thank all
those churches and organisations who have publicly stood in solidarity with us in our suffering
especially the Zimbabwe Pastors Conference. Our appeal to the Christian community in
Zimbabwe is that all should stand up for justice, that all should speak out against the unlawful
arrests of our people, the beatings and tear-gassing of our congregations, the disruptions of
church services, the flouting of Court Orders and partisan behaviour of the police and now the
disturbing developments beginning to unfold.
An end to this persecution would enable our church to fully resume its role in serving all of
God’s people in our great country of Zimbabwe.