There was drama at Mutare Magistrates’ courts as Anglican church factions attacked each other and exchanged hard words at the criminal court over the case of Bishop Ruwona who was arrested for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from the congregation.

Ruwona, who is denying the charges, is accused of defrauding the Anglican Church of US$700 000.

He was granted $15 000 bail and ordered to report once every Friday at Mutare Central Police Station.

Ruwona is also believed to have forced students to buy bibles and hymn books but the state said they will only focus on money that was borrowed from banks using church property as guarantee by the clergyman and his associates who are still at large.

Before the court sat, some church members sang songs in support of the top cleric’s arrest.

They took their celebratory mood into the courtroom.

The celebrations ended after the court granted the bishop $15 000 bail as the ruling drew wild cheers from the other group that quickly broke into song and dance celebrating the bishop’s freedom.

A war of words erupted between church members of the two factions outside the courtroom and the situation nearly degenerated into violence.

They dressed down each other in the full glare of members of the public using unprintable words.