Just this Sunday the New York Times was bringing its readers up to speed on the treatment of Anglicans in Zimbabwe.
Today USPG has specifics of the very latest in this on-going saga in a letter from The Rt. Rev. Chad Gandiya, Bishop of Harare:
Alarming developments are unfolding in our beloved diocese.
Last Sunday, a Kunonga priest forced himself into the house of our priest (the Revd Muzanenhamo) at Mubayira, in Mhondoro, while he was on trekk-taking services [visiting a rural parish]. The Revd Muzanenhamo was informed, came back immediately and pushed Kunonga’s priest out of the house. The police came and instead of arresting the intruder they arrested our priest and charged him with assault. He spent the night in cells and we had to bail him out.
That same evening, our newly ordained deacon was evicted from the church house by Kunonga’s people. Police were called and they sided with those evicting our deacon.
In both cases there were no eviction orders, as required by the laws of the land.
Then, last night [Wednesday 1 June], when we were holding a Harare church wardens meeting, we were informed that Kunonga’s people were breaking into the house of the Revd Julius Zimbudzana.
Some of our people went there to try and stop both the break in and forced eviction. When they got there they managed to apprehend one of the thugs and the others ran away. They took the thug to the police station and this time the police arrested him. They went back to the rectory to be with the priest and to comfort him and his family.
They were surprised that riot police (the black boots) came, rounded everyone up and took them to Highlands Police Station, where they are detained as I write this email. In all they have arrested 16 people, including priests and three ladies, one of who is Fr Julius Zimbudzana’s mother. I am still to get the names of all who were arrested.
When Fr Julius tried to give a report to the police station on Monday concerning the eviction of our deacon I am told the police refused to open a docket, which in turn means the incident never happened.
I am really concerned about this.
We shall be running around to try and bail the whole group out today, if the police will listen.
Please pray for our registrars as they try to sort out their bail. Pray for those arrested. Pray especially for the families of all who were arrested last night. They are greatly traumatised by all this. I am told by some of my priests about their children who are affected and are worried about their fathers. Please continue to pray for us as a diocese.