By ACNS staff
Stories of child abuse and neglect at an Anglican orphanage have tempered Zimbabwe Anglican's celebrations at legal decisions provisionally returning church property to them.
Today the Anglican Diocese of Harare revealed that children at the Shearly Cripps Children's Home--an orphanage taken from the church by supporters of the excommunicated bishop Nolbert Kunonga--have been suffering under those who replaced the legitimate staff.
"It has been brought to the attention of the Anglican Diocese of Harare (CPCA) that orphaned children at Shearly Cripps are being ill-treated, under-fed and have become exposed to all forms of threats," said a spokesperson for the diocese. "Reports indicate that one child allegedly drank a harmful substance and was rushed to hospital for urgent medical attention."
The Shearly Cripps Children's Home is an orphanage housing more than 100 orphans attached to St Johns Chikwakwa in Murewa, Mashonaland East province. It was taken over last month by Kunonga supporters armed with a Writ of Ejectment obtained from the Registrar of the High Court.
That same High Court last week ordered Anglican Church staffers to return to their posts at the mission hospital. Kunonga evicted nurses, teachers and office staff from the Daramombe mission south of the capital as part of a series of property grabs.
On 12 October, however, High Court Justice Chinembiri Bhunu ordered that the staffers be reinstated and Kunonga refrain from interfering with Daramombe.
"Any of the staff members who may have been removed are to be reinstated in their previous occupation and workstations pending determination of the final order," the judge said. This was a reversal of a previous order in August giving Kunonga control over all church assets.
In a separate ruling, the High Court of Zimbabwe also granted a provisional order against Elson Jakazi the excommunicated bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Manicaland and his priests directing them “to restore possession and control and use of the All Saints Zimunya Church.”
If the order is ignored, Justice Tendai Uchena made it clear that Elson Madoda Jakazi, Reverend Bernard Maupa, Reverend Vusimuzi Ndlovu and Reverend Katanga as first, third, fourth and fifth respondents shall be "forthwith incarcerated in Chikurubi Maximum Prison for 90 continuous days” if they defy this provisional order. They have also been ordered to pay all legal costs.
These rulings came during and after the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams to the Province of Central Africa*. While in Harare Dr Williams, alongside the Archbishops of Central Africa and Southern Africa and the president of the All Africa Conference of Churches the Archbishop of Tanzania, presented Mr Mugabe with a dossier** of complaints about the treatment of Anglicans.