By Bernard Mpofu
Bishop Sebastian Bakare of the fractious Anglican Diocese of Harare has accused the government of persecuting “Anglican Christians” to protect fired Bishop Nolbert Kunonga. Kunonga, a Zanu PF apologist and a beneficiary of the chaotic 2000 land reform programme, was expelled from the church last year. Bakare’s accusations against the government came after riot police allegedly intimidated and dispersed over 3 200 women from all over the country who were commemorating Mary’s Day in Mbare. “The events of the past weekend have led me to believe that there is a deliberate attempt to persecute Anglican Christians in this diocese,” Bakare alleged. “Three thousand two hundred members of Mothers’ Union had gathered at St Michael’s Church Mbare to commemorate Mary’s Day and were chased away by riot police under a so-called directive from above, are a case in point.” He added: “Why do the police enforcement agents keep on telling us that they are getting “orders from above” when they come to interfere with our services? After all Kunonga has no followers except a few clergy and their families. As a bishop of this diocese I was reminded of Christian churches who were persecuted in communist countries before the fall of the iron curtain,” he said.