“We will continue as a church. It does not matter whether we are in buildings or not. We are a church that is totally against homosexuality,” excommunicated Anglican Bishop Nolbert Kunonga said in a recent interview to ZBC refering to the Gandiya-led Anglicans.
Bishop Chad Gandiya reportedly said the door was open for Dr Kunonga and his camp to join back the Anglican church. “But obviously we will follow church rules,” added Gandiya.
Speaking to journalists at a press conference Gandiya said schools that were in the hands of Kunonga were not spared by the rot that also affected hospitals.
Just like with other schools and hospitals, the Anglican Church lost Shirley Cripps, an orphanage to Kunonga who kicked out nuns some of whom had been running the place for more than 30 years.
Said Gandiya, “The children’s home is very dear to us, last week we received information that children were being abused. The matter was referred to the police and we are happy a person was arrested. There is widespread sexual abuse at the orphanage.”
While Anglicans across the country are on cloud nine celebrating the victory, Gandiya expressed concern with the manner in which Kunonga’s supporters are deserting premises, literally abandoning children.
“We are not there to fight anybody. if people are moving out they should inform us so as to ensure that children do not starve,” said Gandiya.
After leaving the Anglican Church, ostensibly over homosexuality, Kunonga went on to replace professionals at the institutions he had seized. Since then, standards have plummeted, with children at the Anglican Church-run schools complaining of abuse. The infrastructure is in a sorry state.
Officials say sexual abuses at Shirley Cripps are just a tip of the iceberg judging from the decadence of the moral fibre at institutions that had been in the hands of Kunonga.
According to The Herald, most of the churches in the Harare Diocese had been rented out to private colleges and crèches. The principal of Crystal College based at Anglican St Michael’s parish in Mbare, Mr Irvine Bhachisi, told the state-run newspaper the college’s future was uncertain following the Supreme Court ruling.
Education, Arts, Sports and Culture Minister David Coltart said his ministry will take stern measures against teachers who will be found to have abused children. “We are certainly going to investigate. We will support the Anglican Church. And they should give us any kind of allegation which they have so that we take it to the police commissioner general. If we find that teachers abused children then we will punish them severely,” said Coltart.
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