THE Anglican Church on Sunday held what it called a “cleansing ceremony" of its Cathedral of St Mary’s and All Saints in Harare, which it says had suffered five years of defilement by renegade bishop, Nolbert Kunonga.
Kunonga, a Zanu PF supporter who was excommunicated from the mainstream Anglican Church, had terrorised his rivals led by Bishop Chad Gandiya and refused to surrender the church’s several places of worship.
He had also seized several schools and health institutions owned by the church, worth millions of dollars.
But a recent Supreme Court decision ordered Kunonga out, leaving him and his few followers in the lurch.
Gandiya led thousands of parishioners Sunday in mass as they rejoiced their return to the cathedral.
“This is the day we got our deliverance,” Gandiya said. “It marks our return from exile. We were driven from our church into exile, it was not easy, we have survived.”
“We are not yet there. Just like an athlete we have to strive until we get to the finish line.”
He thanked his followers for being resilient in the face of harassment by Kunonga backed by the police and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operatives.
“If the Lord had not been on our side when people attacked us, traumatised us, they would have swallowed us alive, the floods would have engulfed us, the raging waters would have swept us,” he said.
“We have escaped like a bird from a snare. The snare has been broken.”
Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga and Zanu PF Politburo member Victoria Chitepo attended the ceremony.
After being thrown out by the Supreme Court, Kunonga went back to the High Court and appealed on a technicality.
But the High Court Justice George Chiweshe dismissed Kunonga's application saying the Supreme Court had already put closure to the case.