Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
The Anglican Church has instructed its lawyers to recover everything the church lost to ex-communicated bishop Dr Nolbert Kunonga following the Supreme Court ruling last month.
The superior court ordered the bishop to pay the Anglican Church $427 000 as compensation for shares he sold after he led the church into schism in 2007.
The shares were owned by the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) in various firms and by command of the law, the decision of the Supreme Court is final and binding on all subordinate courts.
The Anglican Diocesan secretary, Reverend Clifford Dzavo, said Dr Kunonga was yet to comply with the Supreme Court ruling.
“We met our lawyers Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans last week on Friday after the court ruling,” said Rev Dzavo.
“We have instructed them to follow up the matter and recover the money and everything that we lost to Kunonga.
“It’s another process which needs to be done in accordance with the dictates of the law and we are doing exactly that.”
Dr Kunonga is the former Anglican bishop and head of the Diocese of Harare CPCA. The Supreme Court upheld the High Court decision last month ordering the cleric and his allies to pay $427 892, plus interest and court costs to the Diocese of Harare.
Justice Paddington Garwe threw out Dr Kunonga’s contention that the shares were sold to meet the costs of running the affairs of the church.
He found that the assets had not been used for the benefit of CPCA, but in furtherance of the interests of the new church Dr Kunonga and his allies had formed.
In 2013, the Supreme Court resolved the dispute in the Anglican Church pitting the CPCA and diocesan trustees, Harare province under case number SC48.12.
In that judgment, the court made findings that Dr Kunonga and other trustees formed a new church in January 2008 and the former bishop was consecrated and enthroned as the archbishop.
It was also noted that they continued to use CPCA assets without approval of the provincial synod, in furtherance of the interest of their new church.
Dr Kunonga and his allies had no right once they seceded from the church in 2007 to continue holding onto the church assets, the court found.
Dr Kunonga withdrew the diocese from the CPCA to form the Anglican Church of Zimbabwe after the province began ecclesiastical proceedings to investigate the controversial bishop on charges of fraud, heresy and attempted murder. When he formed his church, Dr Kunonga clung on to the Anglican property for five years, while denying church members access to the properties, it was revealed.
At the height of the property control dispute, Dr Kunonga and his followers, including Beaven Michael Ngundu, Alfred Tome, Justin Nyazika and Winter Shamuyarira, decided to dispose of the church’s property in the form of shares it owned in various companies.
The unilateral sale of property and shares prejudiced the church members of $427 892.