When I was back in Zimbabwe in August 2009 things were looking up. The shops were full, life and commerce were picking up and the police seemed to be encouraging a return to the rule of law. That seems to be in doubt now.

Last week the new Bishop of Manicaland, Julius Makoni, was stopped from attending an episcopal meeting abroad by detention and harrassment at Harare Airport. This was at the behest of the ousted ex-Anglican Bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga.

This follows repeated episodes of harrassment of churches in the Dioceses of Harare and Manicaland – again at the behest of the ousted ex-bishop. Congregations are being prevented from using their church buildings and violence is being used by the police to intimidate the Anglicans for whom Kunonga is no longer their bishop.

Kunonga is not recognised as a bishop in the Anglican Communion. Yet, he continues to be supported by Mugabe who also seems to be keen (once again) to support his indefensible ecclesiastical supporter.

It is important that people know what is happening there. What happens to Anglican opponents of a deposed and discredited bishop is a good guide to whether the rule of law (essential to the future recovery of Zimbabwe at lots of levels) is being restored or ignored.