Schismatic’ Zimbabwe bishop should resign, says colleague

Published November 1, 2007

Canterbury, England
Bishop Nolbert Kunonga of Harare in Zimbabwe should resign his post following his attempt to withdraw his diocese from the Anglican Communion’s Central Africa Province, said his counterpart in Botswana, Musonda Trevor Selwyn Mwamba. The Botswana bishop cited Bishop Kunonga’s opposition to the granting of what he described as “Christian rights” to homosexuals.

Bishop Mwamba said of his colleague’s move to withdraw from the province, “The decision taken by the bishop of Harare is tantamount to a schism.”

On Sept. 8, Bishop Kunonga proposed a resolution at a meeting of the Central Province in Malawi that the Harare diocese should withdraw because some of its bishops supported full “Christian rights” for homosexual people.

Bishop Mwamba said, “What a shock it was for most delegates, who until then believed that all the bishops, clergy and laity in the province were of one mind on the issue of homosexuality, namely, that the province holds to the Lambeth Conference resolution … which calls for a listening process, dialogue and reconciliation.”

Bishop Mwamba called the issue “a cover for the real underlying issue: a quest for personal power.” He added, “The vicious slander that was being spread to tarnish the reputations of some bishops in the province was and is intended to ensure that when the electoral college meets to elect the next archbishop of Central Africa, these bishops will stand little chance of success.”

A statement by Bishop Kunonga in the state-controlled Herald newspaper in Harare that Bishop Mwamba is “an avowed homosexual” was libellous, said the Botswana bishop.

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