Herald Reporter in Zimbabwe, reports on the visit of Bishop Roberto Crespo. Crespo hails former Bishop of Harare Nolbert Kunonga. Kunonga in alliance with Robert Mugabe has been instrumental in oppressing the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe, locking congregations out of their churches and other acts. Crespo was arrested and charged with arms smuggling in 2001. Strangers in good company?
VISITING Bishop of the Anglican Church in Ecuador, Reverend Roberto Crespo, has expressed his solidarity with Archbishop Nolbert Kunonga of the Church of the Province of Zimbabwe over his bold stance against homosexuality.
Rev Crespo arrived in Zimbabwe last Tuesday for a week-long visit.
At a media briefing on Wednesday he said: "Archbishop Kunonga is pursuing religious independence because Anglican is not a British church.
"It is just like what President Mugabe did when he led Zimbabweans to political independence in 1980.
"We, the church in Ecuador, we support Archbishop Kunonga and we reject those in the United States and England who support homosexuality. The church in Zimbabwe has taken a prophetic stance and we are supporting its leadership."
PRESIDENT MUGABE has been awarded an honorary doctorate degree in civil law by a top Ecuadorian university for his outstanding leadership qualities.
He is set to receive the Autonomous University of Quito’s award next month. Accepting the honour after a courtesy call by a representative of the institution of higher learning, Bishop Dr Walter Roberto Crespo, at State House yesterday, President Mugabe said he was grateful to the Ecuadorians. “We are very grateful and appreciative of the generosity that has come from Ecuador to us,” he said. “We shall receive the conferment of the honorary degree on our way from the United Nations (UN) Summit in the United States next month.”
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces said relations between Harare and Ecuador would continue to flourish. He said the two countries share a common stance on several matters, including advocacy against homosexuality. He applauded Bishop Crespo and the Anglican Church of Ecuador for taking a firm stance against homosexuality.“We are happy and delighted that there is that stand in the Anglican Church in Ecuador. Others are afraid to talk about it,” he said.
“It (homosexuality) is dirt, it’s filth; it’s abuse of our nature graciously given to us by our God. We say pamberi nemi.”
President Mugabe reiterated that homosexuality demeaned nature. “When God created Adam, he also created Eve for that harmony between man and woman and family to exist. God said there should be multiplication,” said the President. “This is the pattern of family life; that’s why we exist. Otherwise we would not have been here!”
Bishop Crespo said President Mugabe was awarded the doctorate degree because is revered in Ecuador. “He was given the award because of his experience and especially because of his leadership worldwide,” he said. “Far beyond the expectations of Zimbabwe, he is a leader for all the nations. We are grateful to him and we love him so much.”
Crespo is a bishop in the Anglican Catholic Church of Ecuador which has consorted with members of Global South Anglican. (GSA is "managed under the direction of the Global South Primates Steering Committee.") In particular, he and the bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Recife, under the Primatial Authority of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of America, plus five others calling themselves Anglican Movement “for a Common Cause” signed The Boa Viagem Declaration. That declaration "places strong emphasis on the historical sources of sound doctrine, including, with regard to Human Sexuality." More about this Anglican Movement here, accompanied by photos of Rowan Williams and Gregory Venables.
More on Bishop Crespo here and expanded on at ENS
ENS March 20, 2001
Continuing Anglican bishop arrested as arms smuggler (story by BBC)
Police in Ecuador have arrested Bishop Walter R. Crespo, a bishop of the Catholic Anglican Church of Ecuador, a continuing Anglican that uses the 1928 Book of Common Prayer in Spanish. It is not a part of the Anglican Communion.
Crespo was detained and imprisoned at army intelligence headquarters at Quito with two former army colonels after police intercepted a shipment of rockets and anti-personnel mines on the border with Columbia.
Ordained in Orange, N.J., Crespo was consecrated in 1995 by two bishops of the Anglican Church in America. Friends say it was Crespo’s second arrest in four years.
From ZWNEWS, 4 November
Zimbabwe named in Colombian arms deal.
The Zimbabwe government's name was used to cover up the covert supply of arms to anti-government guerrillas in Colombia, it has emerged. Reports last month from Ecuador, Colombia and Miami said that the weapons, worth US$240 000, had been transferred in 2000 from Ecuador to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) - the main rebel group in Colombia. El Nuevo Herald, the Spanish language sister paper of the Miami Herald, reported from the Colombian capital Bogata at the beginning of October that documents in its possession showed that the armaments, originally belonging to the Ecuadorean Air Force, had been sold - fictitiously - to Zimbabwe Defence Industries, but had in fact been transferred to FARC. Some of the weapons were reportedly to be used in an assassination attempt on the Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, and have been used in other more recent attacks in Colombia. FARC, and other guerrilla groups, have been fighting the Colombian government for four decades, in a murky war inextricably bound up with the drugs trade.
The arms - M-72-A2 rockets and cluster bombs - were originally bought by Ecuador in 1977. In 2000, the then Ecuadorean minister of de fence, Admiral Hugo Unda, decommissioned the weapons as "obsolete", and arranged for them to be "sold" to Zimbabwe, using the Brazilian company ATR as an intermediary, at a considerable discount to their real value of US$3 million. The arms were supposedly transported in an Ilyushin 76 aircraft - registration number UR 76767 - which left Russia, landed in Mexico en route to Ecuador, and then filed a false flight plan from the Ecuadorean military base at Taura to Chile, Brazil, Angola and Harare. The shipment, however, was in fact only flown as far as Iquique in Chile, and was then ferried to various places in Colombia by a fleet of smaller planes. Another figure accused of being at the centre of the deal is the Anglican bishop of the Ecuadorean capital Quito, Walter Crespo Guarderas, who is currently being held there in prison, and is said to have brokered the arrangement. Crespo recently admitted having links with FARC, but denied involvement in the arms shipment, saying that a confession he had made had been extracted from him using drugs placed in his food while he was incarcerated. Both the Zimbabwe government and ATR denied to el Nuevo Herald that they were in any way involved in the deal.