Ex-bishop demands repayment of loans to Central African church

Bishop Julius Makoni seeks repayment of $116,000 in loans to the CPCA used to pay the church’s attorneys in the Kunonga affair

The former Bishop of Manicaland has filed suit against the Church of the Province of Central Africa, seeking repayment of a loan made to the church to fund its litigation against breakaway bishop Nolbert Kunonga and his allies. In a suit filed in the Harare High Court on 19 Sept 2016, the Rt. Rev. Julius Makoni alleges the CPCA standing committee asked for his financial support, prompting him pay bills from the Gill Godlonton & Gerrans and Nyamwanza law firms in Harare on behalf of the province between Dec 2008 and Oct 2011.  The CPCA declined to respond to his August 2016 demand letter, his attorneys stated, prompting the lawsuit.  In his pleading, the bishop stated the province, “through its representatives, made several promises to pay the said outstanding debt, but defendant did not honour its undertakings.” Notwithstanding these demands the CPCA “has omitted, neglected or refused to settle the outstanding amount,” the complaint said, prompting a request for judgment in the amount of $116 314. Elected Bishop of Manicaland in 2009, Bishop Makoni had been the managing director of NMB Bank in London before his appointment. He succeeded the Rt. Rev. Elson Jakazi after the later attempted to align the diocese with the breakaway bishop of Harare, Dr. Nolbert Kunonga. On 29 January 2015 the province’s House of Bishops meeting in Harare accepted the bishop’s resignation dated 19 November 2014, but said the canons required him to remain in office during the transition, until 1 March 2015. No reason for the bishop’s resignation was given in his letter. but following his resignation he took up a post with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). However, Pauline Makoni, the bishop’s ex-wife, told Anglican Ink her husvand had been remarried in a church ceremony following their divorce in London in 2010. In the divorce proceedings she alleged the bishop had fathered a child out of wedlock in 2006. A second church marriage while a former spouse is living is seldom permitted in the Central African church.

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