|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
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Enough is Enough
We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!
21 September 2004
What is the correct title by which to address a Bishop of the Church ? In some traditions the customary title is “His grace the Bishop …” To many parishioners in the Anglican Diocese of Harare however a more appropriate designation for the present incumbent might be “His disgrace Bishop Kunonga”.
Not only has Bishop Kunonga shown himself to be a servile supporter of ZANU PF and an obsequious fan of Robert Mugabe; he has also demonstrated a real greed for the material rewards bestowed on those who sacrifice principle for personal advantage. His patron, who now treats the whole of Zimbabwe as his personal fiefdom to parcel out to supporters as he pleases, bestowed St Marnocks Farm in Nyabira on the errant bishop some time ago. The legal owners of the farm are the Hale family of that district, but under the current state of lawlessness, before being “given” to the Bishop the farm was occupied in turn by Attwell Seremani of the Boka Tobacco Floors, Mike Moyo of the War Veterans’ Association and Chris Pasipamiri.
What the irreverent gentleman has been given by way of political patronage, he has no intention of sharing with others either. Accordingly on Friday (17th September) he arranged to send in the ZANU PF militia, the Black Boots, to evict all the farm workers and their families from the village on St Marnock’s Farm. About 40 families were illegally evicted in this manner. “These people do not work for me”, said the Bishop in apparent self-justification for this brutal action. The Black Boots then proceeded to torch the humble dwellings of the farm workers, presumably to ensure that they would not try to return to the village.
St Marnocks was once a dream farm. Its 600 hectares is mostly arable land and at one time 240 hectares was under wheat and another 240 hectares under soya beans. A full centre pivot irrigation scheme once operated, yielding a crop of 1500 tons wheat and the same quantity of soya beans, twice yearly. The value of these crops grown today would be in the region of 4,8 billion Zim dollars annually. Under Bishop Kunonga’s neglectful stewardship however this once-thriving farm has been converted into a sea of weeds and grass. The boreholes no longer function. Electricity has been disconnected. The centre pivot stands idle in the middle of a derelict field. In fact not one square meter of the 600 hectare farm is productive. Which adds more than a touch of irony to Kunonga’s statement that those unfortunates ejected from the village did not “work” for him. “Work” is not a word that comes to mind readily in describing Kunonga’s period of “ownership” of the farm.
Our reporter discovered that the evicted families were all employed by local agricultural businesses, including the Windmill, SeedCo, Freska and 600 Seeds’ factories. Some of the former farm workers are still employed by Marcus Hale, and he has been doing his best to find them alternative accommodation elsewhere. But even with outside help the evicted families face an uncertain and difficult future.
One can only wonder if the disgraceful Bishop feels more comfortable in his St Marnock’s home now that he has turned 40 other families out of their homes.
Nor it must be said is this Bishop the only one to bring disgrace on his church by abusing his position of authority and accepting the patronage of the ruling elite. There are strong and persistent rumours that the retiring Bishop of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, Cephas Mukandi, was offered and accepted from the ZANU PF hierarchy to which he is closely aligned, a sugar estate near Triangle (name and details supplied). This was no doubt considered no more than the Bishop’s due for his conspicuous silence on matters of politics and morality during the years of national crisis. Unfortunately for this would-be country squire though the owners of the farm refused to move and strenuously resisted the attempted unlawful eviction. But Mukandi may still be offered another uncontested property elsewhere. Undercover sources which report on the ruling party’s monitoring of church leaders and systematic attempts to neutralize the Church either by fear or favour, advise that Mukandi remains in good standing with the party. He is considered to be a safe cleric who deserves to be rewarded for his long-standing docility.
And how many others besides Kunonga and Mukandi …?
Which surely raises the question of how much longer the Church in Zimbabwe will continue to ignore the public scandal caused by those of their leaders who, for personal gain, collude with an evil and godless regime.
Hello to all concerned people…..
In recent months I have become more
and more interested in the confusion and madness happening in my home country of
I am doing what I can in my own
limited way to make a difference, and I ask you to join me. Being in the music
business, I am throwing a ‘Free
It’s happening at John Orr Tech school on Empire road in JHB. So far I have Brassie vannie Kaap, who are not shy to be political, I am working on other acts and I believe that critical mass will be reached soon. The Bishop of Bulawayo, the only church person to stand up to ZANU PF is on our side.
It is going to be a free concert, and let me be frank, I cannot finance the entire thing by myself. I need help. I am including bank details below, and would appreciate any contributions toward a successful event. I want to make as much noise as is africanly possible. Please call me if you want to get involved, and if you can’t, send this e-mail to somebody you think might.
My name is Gregory van den Berg, and I am an African.
Evil thrives while good people do nothing.
First National bank
Melville branch 256505
Acc # : 62018251546
Acc name : Who’s your daddy