September 8, 2011

Archbishop of Canterbury seeks talks with Mugabe

by Jan Harris

In an effort to support persecuted Anglicans in Zimbabwe, Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is visiting Harare on 9 October, the country’s capital city.

During his visit, which is said to be pastoral, not political, he hopes to meet Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.

He is visiting the country amid the ongoing harassment of Anglicans, but the violence has not deterred Dr Williams, who will be the first prominent British official to visit Harare in ten years.

He will also visit Malawi and Zambia during his visit to southern Africa.

Anglicans in Zimbabwe are facing persecution from security forces, including violence and exclusion from churches.

Anglican Church property was recently seized by the former bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga, after he was granted legal custody of the property.

Kunonga was excommunicated in 2007 and now heads a breakaway organisation known as the new Anglican Province of Zimbabwe.

He has served eviction notices on around 30 Anglican clerics including Reverend Dzikamai Mudenda who has been driven from his home in Mabvuku, along with his family.

On the 24 August, Reverend Jonah Mudowaya was beaten around the head after he refused to leave a church house.

Speaking to the New York Times, Kunonga said he wanted to take control of all Anglican properties in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Malawi, including churches, schools and hospitals.

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