Zimbabwe: Deputy Sheriff Forces Gates Open As Kunonga Saga Continues

Harare, Zimbabwe - The drama connected to the refusal by Anglican Bishop Nolbert Kunonga to accept his ouster as the head of the Harare Diocese has continued.

We reported on Friday that Kunonga had moved into the Cathedral of St Mary's in Harare with members of the youth militia. There is a court order allowing Bakare's supporters to hold services in the Cathedral, but when they arrived on Sunday they found the locks had been changed by Kunonga's supporters.

Kunonga is being treated kindly by the courts as he is generally regarded as 'Mugabe's Bishop.'

Bakare was appointed to replace Kunonga as Bishop of Harare, after he tried to remove his diocese from the province.

Lawyer Tafadzwa Mugabe of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, said the Deputy Sheriff was called in to enforce the court order and he broke the locks. But Kunonga supporters somehow thought it was Bakare's supporters who were breaking the door and tension mounted. Riot police who had accompanied the Sheriff defused the situation.

Tafadzwa said officials from both Anglican factions were taken to the police station, along with journalist Fazila Mahommed, who was covering events at the Cathedral and had been recording some interviews. The church officials were released and ordered to remain calm.

Mohammed was briefly interrogated by police about her identification papers. They released her without charge but held on to her tape recorder, saying they wanted to listen. Unable to operate the machine they then went to her home, and asked her to help them.