Nolbert Kunonga, the ex-communicated Anglican Bishop, is yet to surrender church funds he allegedly looted during his controversial reign to the legitimate leadership of Bishop Chad Gandiya.
Gandiya told a press briefing that the ex-communicated Kunonga, who rundown the Anglican Church and turned some church properties into lodges, misappropriated church funds which were held in banks and security firms.
“The matter is still in courts, but we have not recovered anything as of now,” said Gandiya.
The Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) alleges that Kunonga looted church properties during his controversial reign with a cursory inventory revealing that the pro-Zanu PF churchman was not settling utility bills.
“We have told the people we owe that we are going to pay what we can afford, it is very painful personally to me and the church that we have to pay for services we never incurred,” he said.
Gandiya said the church has also resumed projects that were disrupted by the violent takeover of the cathedral by Kunonga, with the men’s guild this week expected to start the construction of a clinic in Murewa.
The clinic, estimated to cost $151 000, will be completed by August next year and is expected to serve 30 000 villagers.
“The project was halted in 2007 when Kunonga and his followers denied Anglicans access to the project site, including church buildings, claiming they were now in charge,” he said.
“They failed to carry on with the project construction, stalling a development that was approved by the Murewa Rural District Council, the local tradition leadership and the ministry of Health and Child Welfare.”
Kunonga tried to block the takeover of church properties by hiring bouncers to scuttle the CPCA takeover, but all this failed.
For five years, Kunonga ran the Anglican Church with a sleight of hand and drove away bonafide congregants to worship in the open.
Early this year, the self-proclaimed Zanu PF supporter and president Robert Mugabe’s admirer, was “cut to size” by the country’s Supreme Court which ruled that he had left the CPCA and should not interfere with its affairs.
He was ordered to return all church property to the original and legitimate leadership, but five months after the court ruling, he is yet to surrender money and bank accounts for the church.
According to Gandiya, Kunonga took with him church assets such as vehicles and investments made by the Anglican Church in various financial institutions.
Leading banks such as Standard Chartered Bank, Imara Asset Management, Kingdom Asset management and Tetrad Securities held key investments for the church and Kunonga kept control of the assets despite his dethronement from the church leadership.
After failing to surrender the church assets, CPCA approached the courts to ensure that the church resources go back to the “rightful owners”.
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