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Anglicans in Manicaland demonstrate against Bishop Ruwona over missing funds

Anglicans in Manicaland demonstrate against Bishop Ruwona over missing funds
Anglicans in Manicaland are at war

Staff Reporter
March 14, 2019

MUTARE, ZIMBABWE --- Business at Anglican Diocese of Manicaland was brought to a standstill, after church members demonstrated against Bishop Erick Ruwona whom they want to resign over allegations of abuse of office and misappropriation of funds.

The protesters handed over their petition to the diocesan secretary to deliver to Ruwona who was not on the premises.

Church members waved placards inscribed with messages denigrating the clergyman "Go well Erick, mbavha munyika and not muchurch, No to Corruption."

Riot police turned down request by protesters to hold a march fearing it may turn violent or cause traffic congestion.

Church warden for St Agnes church in Chikanga who is also a member of the standing committee for Manicaland Diocese, Joseph Mashingaidze said, they were disgruntled over Bishop`s mismanagement, misappropriation of resources and intimidation of church members.

Mashingaidze said some members were acting on the Bishop's instruction to barricade the church so that services could not be conducted peacefully.

"We were supposed to conduct our Ash Wednesday as per Anglican tradition but we were not able to do that because the doors were barricaded by people who said they were acting on instructions from the Bishop," Mashingaidze said.

Another executive member for St Agnes Parish in Chikanga Gamuchirai Puwai said they had come to tender a petition expressing their disgruntlement to the local appointing authority over Ruwona's unbecoming behavior.

Among other allegations in the petition were claims that RTGS$ disappeared from the local church's account without trace.

Another RTGS$250 000 overdraft from the same account is alleged to have disappeared as well under Ruwona's watch.

The congregants also allege that the standing committee in the Diocese has been rendered useless in an as far as administering church activities is concerned.

Church warden of St Mathew Rusape Chad Ruwende said they were simply sending a clear message to Ruwona.

But Diocese secretary, Edmond Samuteriko defended the bishop saying the disgruntled members had their own agenda.

"This is the breakaway faction from the Anglican CPCA and they have their own agendas. However, I will hand over the petition to Bishop Ruwona," said Samuteriko.

A few years ago, the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe then lead by Bishop Chad Gandiya was rocked by a power struggle after a group led by the estranged Harare cleric Nolbert Kunonga broke ranks to declare autonomy. The issue was later resolved in the courts leading to Kunonga's ex-communication from the Church.


Zimbabwe: New Anglican bishop for Diocese of Manicaland

March 23, 2015

The Elective Assembly in the Diocese of Manicaland, The Church of the Province of Central Africa, has named the Revd Canon Erick Ruwona as bishop-elect of the diocese.

Twenty two electors gathered on Saturday 21 March at Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Mutare, Zimbabwe, to elect a successor to Bishop Julius Tawona Makoni following his resignation on 1 March 2015.

The electoral process began with Solemn Mass celebrated by Archbishop Albert Chama.

Bishop-elect Ruwona is 44 years old. He was ordained as deacon in December 1994 and as priest in December 1995. Currently he is serving as Honorary Associate Priest at St James Cathedral in Toronto, Ontario, in Canada.

He is married to Eunice and they have two children.

Twenty-six days will now elapse before the bishop-elect is confirmed as the substantive bishop of Manicaland. Pray for him and his family as well as for the diocese.


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