The Sunday Mail afforded its readers a peek into the psyche of excommunicated Anglican Bishop Nolbert Kunonga and it was not a pretty sight.
The interview with Munyardzi Huni revealed Kunonga’s disturbing delusion of grandeur which culminated in his declaration that “I am not controversial. I am the controversy”. Asked about his feud with Bishop Chad Gandiya, Kunonga described him as a “little man I have never considered to be significant”.
“It’s an insult that people say I am fighting Gandiya. Even (Bishop Sebastian) Bakare, he is no equal to me. I am fighting Archbishop Rowan Williams. That’s where these people are making a mistake. I am not fighting any black man. I am fighting Britain and America,” bellowed Kunonga adding that “I am not petty. This is where they misunderstand me”.
“One of the reasons why I succeed is that I don’t operate outside the law,” smirked Kunonga despite subverting the law by evicting headmasters, teachers and priests for allegedly aligning themselves with Gandiya’s diocese.
On his failure to maintain properties they took over, Kunonga retorted: “Like which property? No. Those are all lies.”
The shocking deterioration of standards at schools taken over by Kunonga such as St Augustine’s Mission, St David’s Bonda, St Faith’s and St Anne’s Goto High Schools was conveniently ignored.
Kunonga’s right hand man, Elson Jakazi, recently conceded the schools’ infrastructure was in a deplorable state. Jakazi has been accused of interfering with the running of the schools and demanding large levies. However, he still had the temerity to accuse parents concerned about the schools’ deteriorating standards of trying to “politicise” the issue whatever that means.
Speaking of embedded church leaders, it seems Bishop Johannes Ndanga, who doubles as the executive president as well as chairperson of the Apostolic Christian Church Council of Zimbabwe, has a lot of time on his hands judging by the fact that he is always at ZBC’s beck and call, commenting on any issue under the sun from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s love life to the draft constitution.
In March Ndanga demanded that Zanu PF provides vehicles and allowances to church leaders spearheading its elections campaign. He claimed that “real bishops” had more Zanu PF followers as compared to traditional leaders, hence the need to award them cars and cash allowances.
“Bring me Chief (Fortune) Charumbira here. We want to see who commands more supporters than the other. Real bishops from indigenous churches can draw more Zanu PF supporters than chiefs. It is against this premise that we (bishops) should be given vehicles just like the chiefs.”
However, Musavengana Tawa, leader of the Zion Church in Masvingo distanced his church from Ndanga’s demands stating that he is chasing away members from the congregation by supporting the discredited Zanu PF and giving the impression that the rest of the congregation supports the same party.
“In the church we do not want bishops to be too political because the congregation is comprised of members of various political parties. Some political issues might bring about violence within the house of God,” Tawa said.
We are always amused by how some of the most undemocratic nations are at the forefront of calling for reform and democratisation of the United Nations. The Herald’s Caesar Zvayi who attended the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York claimed there was a groundswell from world leaders for reform of the body.
Among the most vocal advocates was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who according to Zvayi “raised the bar” in his address to a high-level plenary on the rule of law on Monday as he called on world leaders to reform the structure of the UN to provide for “a democratic and fair framework” for other emerging nations.
“Effective steps must be taken toward reforming the structure of the UN in order to establish a democratic and fair framework in this organisation,” Ahmadinejad said. This clamour for democracy seems confined to international fora and not their home nations given countries like Iran’s appalling human rights record.
Meanwhile Zvayi claimed President Mugabe’s address, slated for Wednesday, was “highly anticipated”. A bit over the top don’t you think Cde Zvayi? Peharps Zvayi forgot to add it was highly anticipated by himself!
The writer of the Herald’s Nathaniel Manheru column was conspicuously absent this week.
The dreary duo of Bowden Mbanje and Darlington Mahuku stood in for Manheru who was probably in New York with the president at the United Nations. The column was finally published on Monday accompanied by an apology attributing it to a “technical” problem.
We are keen to hear what Manheru says about this when he comes back.
Zanu PF politburo member for Environment and Natural Resources Management, Francis Nhema, has urged Zimbabweans to vote for leaders who have the people’s interests at heart and are willing to see the development of the nation.
He said Zanu PF is a “revolutionary” party with the people at heart, adding that the electorate should vote wisely in the forthcoming elections and avoid a situation where people with selfish interests find their way into office. The irony was clearly lost on him.
The very same Nhema recently directed that owners of the Save Valley Conservancy take on board 25 individuals who are mostly senior Zanu PF officials, despite already being beneficiaries of the land reform programme.
Chiefs in Chiredzi then issued a statement accusing the party leadership of engaging in a land-grabbing spree and of being greedy. “The same people now being allocated our conservancies are multiple beneficiaries of sugarcane plots, as well as ranches and farms,” the chiefs said.
“The option that the governor (Titus Maluleke) and his clique have adopted, under which they partner sitting tenants, has caused a lot of destruction to wildlife. For example, Mrs Shuvai Mahofa and company are harvesting game meat for sale without hunting permits.”
Nhema should be careful what he wishes for. Otherwise his appeal for voters to avoid leaders with “selfish interests” might end up boomeranging on him and his party.
The loud and hyperactive Destiny for Afrika Network (Danet) leader “Reverend” Obadiah Msindo has finally emerged from his rare hiatus after being embroiled in an agricultural inputs scam early this year.
Msindo was forced to reimburse communal and commercial farmers from whom he had collected money promising to supply them with maize seed and fertiliser.
Danet collected amounts ranging between US$40 and US$1 600 from individual farmers but did not deliver the inputs. The matter was reported to the police and eight Danet employees, including a manager identified as Tiki, were picked up and released after undertaking to reimburse the farmers, NewsDay reported.
With elections looming, it was only a matter of time before the not-so-reverend Msindo surfaced again with yet another vote-buying scheme.
SW Radio Africa reports that Msindo is at it again, this time dishing out free housing stands to home seekers in Mutare on condition they vote for President Robert Mugabe and his party’s candidates in the next election, while persuading others to do the same.
Comparing Mugabe to the Biblical David, Msindo distributed 1 200 residential stands, urging the hapless residents to vote for Zanu PF.
“How many of you are ready to vote for Zanu PF? Every one of you should bring at least five people to vote for Zanu PF in the next elections and make sure that we win,” said Msindo.
What happened to the R1 billion loan from a South African financial institution Danet claimed to be procuring to fund its “housing” projects?
By the way what does Msindo really do?
Police Inspector Tadius Chibanda has replaced Chief Inspector James Sabau, whose tenure was characterised by a “hands-off” approach as Harare provincial spokesperson. His usual refrain was to express ignorance over any issue he was asked saying he would “investigate” the matter.
When a Zanu PF official was assaulted by touts after confronting them on behalf of kombi operators, Sabau professed ignorance on the incident. He could only say those beaten up should report to the nearest police station.
“People who are assaulted have to report to the nearest police station or police officer. I would be able to comment if the soldiers had lodged their complaints with the police,” said Sabau.
“They (kombi operators) should find a way of dealing with their rank marshals.”
Another quotable quote from Sabau came when he was asked to comment on the alleged harassment of women by police on the grounds of loitering, soliciting and prostitution. Sabau said they don’t just arrest everyone, saying they arrest women with the “regalia” meant to lure clients.
“I would love these women to come on wearing the regalia that they will be wearing when they are on the streets. It’s unfortunate when you see them, it’s very different from how they look during the night.”
Let’s hope Inspector Chibanda will be more helpful than this.
A figure, US$40 million, was being bandied about this week albeit for different reasons. In the first instance, Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe and Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda clashed over the deputy premier’s push to scrap maternity fees at council clinics.
Khupe said she had sourced US$40 million to subsidise maternity costs under the Health Transition Fund while Masunda described the move as “unsustainable”.
The second instance this amount was mentioned was by Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantine Chiwenga’s estranged wife Jocelyn who is demanding US$40 million from Chiwenga’s new spouse as damages for “offending her feelings” and cohabiting with her husband after the army general left the matrimonial home.
Clearly we are living in different worlds in this country where some people can demand US$40 million for having their feelings offended while others are unable to pay for the most basic of needs.
Finally we can always count on “flamboyant” businessman Philip Chiyangwa for a good chuckle. Chiyangwa is currently engaged in a scuffle with Masunda over a private clinic he is building.
The NewsDay reporter who sought Chiyangwa’s comment over the issue got more than she bargained for: “This is my money my sister, it’s a problem when you don’t have money, they should make their own money.”
Despite being taken to court for failing to pay his workers, Chiyangwa further declared: “I am filthy rich my sister, if I put you in a room with my money you will be buried in it. You make us lose money with these false stories that you write.”
It would be interesting to know if the “filthy rich” Fidza honoured his pledge in April to donate US$1,6 million to the University of Zimbabwe or paid his debts. Originally published in The Zimbabwe Independent