Anglican Priest Found Dead As Bishops Seek State Protection

HARARE,- The on-going fighting between rival factions of the Anglican Church has claimed the life of an elderly female priest who was found dead in her house by fellow parishioners.

This was revealed to other church members and the media by Bishop Chad Gandiya who leads the Harare Diocese of the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA).Bishop Gandiya said there were strong suspicions that the 89-year-old priest Jesca Mandeya was murdered by security operatives.

“ As a Bishop I am concerned that some of my people are going to be killed for the simple reason that they belong to a certain denomination, ”said Bishop Gandiya.

He added that both the church members and Bishops were living in fear of being killed as some of them continued to be followed by suspected operatives of the spy agency. Bishop Gandiya’s Diocese is currently locked in a fierce legal battle for the church’s assets with self appointed and Zanu (PF) backed Arch Bishop of the Church of Zimbabwe Nolbert Kunonga.

Since the dispute started, parishioners from the CPCA have been barred by police from using buildings belonging to the church even after the courts had ruled that the two factions should share the church premises. Bishop Gandiya,s followers are being forced to worship in hired buildings, in the open and in some churches. They also face regular threats from state agents.