A weblog by Will Fitzgerald

Kunonga Watch IV

The judge in Kunonga’s trial has stepped down, according to this BBC story.

“I believe I will now withdraw as judge of this trial,” Judge James Kalaile said, in response to the lengthy disagreements before the trial got under way. “I have not in my years as a judge in Malawi or elsewhere heard anything like this before.”

The AP reports:

Kunonga has refused to comment on the allegations against him. But the state-run Herald newspaper described him Thursday as the victim of a “white racist clique” that is pursuing him for refusing to join clergy that have demonized Mugabe’s government. Church leaders are among Mugabe’s most outspoken critics.

The UK Telegraph called the trial a farce because of Kunonga’s ‘vexatious’ objections.

Pauline Makoni, another leading Zimbabwean Anglican who travelled from London to give evidence against the bishop, said: “Our canons remain broken, our case against the bishop will not go away, we will continue.” Wearing a cerise cassock and surrounded by family members, Bishop Kunonga emerged from the courtroom, convened at Harare Royal Golf Club, smiling broadly and claiming victory.

According to the Zimbabwe Herald, all but two charges (out of 36) have been dropped; the original charges included incitement to murder.

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