Monday, May 24, 2010

Renegade bishop loses control of church

From Zimbabwe-

Excommunicated former bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Manicaland Elson Madoda Jakazi has lost his bid to cling to church property despite resigning from the Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA) that controls the diocese.

Jakazi is among a group of senior Anglican clergymen who include controversial former Harare Bishop Nolbert Kunonga who resigned from the CPCA that they accused of condoning homosexuality. The senior bishops and their supporters have however refused to let go OF church property despite ceasing to be members.

In a ruling handed down last Wednesday High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu said that Jakazi lost his claim to authority over diocesan property when he resigned from the Manicaland Diocese in September 2007.

“Once the first applicant’s resignation letter was received by the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of the Central Africa the first applicant automatically ceased to be an employee or member of that church organisation without any further formalities,” Bhunu said in a ruling that will certainly have a lot a bearing on Kunonga’s attempts to retain control millions of dollars worth of property belonging to the Harare Diocese

“Having ceased to be an employee of the church organization he automatically stripped himself of any rights and privileges arising from the contract of employment, membership or his status as a bishop of that church organization,” said Bhunu who dismissed Jakazi’s application with costs.

Bhunu noted that Jakazi was not dismissed but voluntarily left the CPCA. “That being the case, he can hardly be heard to complain or cry foul. Any appeal or review which he may launch means he is appealing or seeking a review of his own conduct. This is wholly untenable and illogical such that it must be incompetent at law,” the judge said.

The ruling, unless appealed, effectively puts to an end the dispute over control of the Manicaland Diocese, which Jakazi had continued to claim was under his charge despite quitting the CPCA, the body under which the diocese falls.

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