The controversial head of the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe, Bishop Nolbert Kunonga, was yesterday briefly held hostage by parishioners of St Philip's Anglican Church in Harare, Fanuel Jongwe reports in The Daily News. They accused him of snubbing them and protecting church leaders who are alleged to be abusing funds. Kunonga had attended a service at the church to conduct a confirmation service. Angry parishioners confronted him after the service, accusing him of dragging his feet on an investigation into the circumstances in which more than $300 000 was allegedly withdrawn from the church's account. Kunonga insisted that the angry congregation should approach him through the church's archdeacon and refused to accept a petition signed by 120 parishioners. A group of women in the church office broke into song and dance, insisting: "Tinoda kutaura nemi, Baba. (We want to have an audience with you, Father.)" As tempers flared, Kunonga's wife, Agnes, who had stood nearby throughout the drama, asked members of the Mothers' Union, who had formed a human barricade at the door, to make way for her. The women obliged. Kunonga then slipped out of the church with his wife and the couple drove off in their Mazda 626 car. As Kunonga drove out off the church yard, angry parishioners shouted after him, accusing him of promoting corruption. Several church members nearly resorted to fisticuffs after Kunonga's departure, as they accused two of their colleagues of trying to protect the bishop and the church officials who are accused of embezzlement. Bishop Kunonga is one of the few church leaders in Zimbabwe who has praised President Mugabe from the pulpit and defended him from all critics in recent years..
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