FORMER Anglican Archbishop Nolbert Kunonga on Monday lost his latest bid to retain control of the church’s properties.
Judge President George Chiweshe told the controversial cleric, a vocal supporter of President Robert Mugabe, that the Supreme Court had already made a ruling giving control of the properties — including parishes and schools — to the Church of the Province of Central Africa’s Harare Diocese led by Bishop Chad Gandiya.
Justice Chiweshe ruled: “The parties have referred me to numerous authorities in support of their respective positions. I thank them for their diligent research and their lively arguments.
“In the final analysis, I agree with the mother church that this matter is res judicata (matter already decided) — the Supreme Court has spoken.
“Accordingly, I hold that I have no jurisdiction to entertain this application. For that reason, I would, as I hereby do, dismiss this application with costs.”
Kunonga formed a splinter church called the Anglican Church of the Province of Zimbabwe in 2007 after announcing he was cutting ties with the main church during a row over homosexuality.
His lawyer Jonathan Samukange, speaking after the latest High Court ruling, said they would appeal to the Supreme Court on a point of law.
“I think the judge erred... the Anglican Church of the Province of Zimbabwe is different from Dr Kunonga,” said Samukange.
Meanwhile, Justice Chiweshe criticised Gandiya for enforcing evictions on Kunonga’s followers even after he filed the latest urgent application.
“It is the practice, custom and tradition of this court that when an urgent matter has been set down, it suspends execution until the matter is heard,” the judge said.