‘PRIEST FIRED OVER SODOMY’
14 December 2017
A ROMAN Catholic priest under the Archdiocese of Harare has been relieved of his duties after a litany of accusations deemed him unfit for calling.
Father Rungano Muchineripi, who was serving at St Johns parish in Budiriro, has been barred by the church from conducting any priestly duties.
In a letter dated December 8 directed to bishops and religious leaders, Archbishop Robert Ndlovu informed leaders under his jurisdiction that “with a heavy heart” Fr Muchineripi is “no longer in good standing” with the church.
Read the letter: “Therefore all faculties are revoked and he is no longer permitted to exercise any ministerial function either publicly or privately.”
Archbishop Ndlovu also indicated that the banished priest is no longer allowed to reside at any church property or parish “and should not wear clerical attire.”
Sources privy to developments around the issue told H-Metro that the 34-year-old priest has been relieved of his duties after accusations that he was sodomising young catholic boys.
“Muchineripi was ordained in 2008 by Archbishop Ndlovu and then was deployed at St Michael’s mission school in Mhondoro. In a short space of time there were reports that he was sodomising boys at the school.
“When the matter was raised, he was moved to Seke rural parish but complaints poured through the bishop’s office,” said the source.
The source further revealed that in 2013 Muchineripi was diagnosed with brain cancer and received medical treatment in India.
“Since his operation, he has been residing at Tsuro House, a priestly residence at the cathedral,” added the source.
The clergyman at the centre of the storm however told H-Metro that he was not feeling well hence could not respond.
“I have gone to hospital. Ndimirire kuCathedral ikoko ndouya ndichikuona mumwe musi,” he said.
Two days later, numerous efforts to reach him were in vain. He did not answer numerous phone calls from H-Metro yesterday even though his phone was ringing.
H-Metro further contacted vicar-general of the Harare archdiocese Father Kennedy Muguti who confirmed developments around Muchineripi.
Fr Muguti also indicated that the case of sodomy could have been dealt with at an individual level with the victim leading to terms that pushed Fr Muchineripi out of service.
“Yes, I can confirm that Muchineripi has been relieved of his duties. We received a letter from father Ndlovu to that effect. For issues of him sodomising people, the matter has been handled individually and thus they may have reached a consensus that saw him being relieved.
“I know he has been dismissed but some of these things we need to maintain the integrity and dignity of the other person. Muchineripi knows why he has been dismissed. You should talk to him,” said Fr. Muguti.