Zimbabwe: Anglican priest sacked for supporting opposition

 A Zimbabwean Anglican clergyman, suspended by his bishop for allowing an opposition lawmaker to donate money at a public thanksgiving service last year, is reported to have resigned. The cleric, Rev Paul Gwese, was suspended by Bishop Nolbert Kunonga of Harare after the thanksgiving service last December but had the suspension lifted at the end of January following protests from parishioners of his church in Harare's Glen Norah township. However, a source in the church this week told Ecumenical News International that Gwese had left the parish two weeks ago and was now teaching at a private college in the Zimbabwean capital. Gwese's wife confirmed the priest and his family had vacated the church house in Glen Norah but referred further questions to her husband. Kunonga has made no secret of his support for the ruling Zanu PF party of President Robert Mugabe. He once described opponents of the president as "dogs barking at an elephant." The lawmaker who made the donation, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, is the member of parliament for Glen Norah and foreign affairs spokesperson for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party. Zimbabwe is holding parliamentary elections March 31 and the MDC was reported on Friday to have alleged that police were making overzealous arrests, and stifling opposition meetings. Gwese's parishioners had boycotted church services after his suspension and staged protests at St Mary's and All Saints cathedral in central Harare demanding his reinstatement. Church sources said Kunonga had wanted to transfer Gwese to a rural parish in Mhondoro about 100 kilometres from Harare. Source: ZW News

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