By Mufaro Chakuinga LCBL
The Bishop of Gweru, Rudolph Nyandoro last year, initiated the construction of a Priest’s house at Chaka Mission. The construction of a seven roomed house started in November 2021 and was completed in August 2022 with the help of the Bethlehem Mission Society (SMB) missionaries and some Well-wishers from within and outside the diocese.
Chaka also known as Christ the King is a Mission which falls under Gweru Diocese and was built some 70 years ago. It has four centers, a primary school and a secondary school. The Mission is located at Chaka Business Centre along the Masvingo-Harare highway in Chirumanzu. Fr Francis Msindo was the first resident priest to be assigned to the place on 1 August 2021 when it was upgraded to a mission status. Since the foundation of the Parish, there was no residence for Priests at the mission. The Church’s sacristy was used as a bedroom and an office by priests who ministered at the Mission. The parish was served by priests from other missions including Driefontein and Holy Cross.
The coming in of Bishop Nyandoro was a blessing for Chaka as he elevated the parish to a mission and initiated the construction of a parish house. He commanded that a priest should stay at the mission to supervise the building of the house. The new house was officially opened by Bishop Nyandoro on 29 October 2022.
‘’The construction of the house came as a great relief because it was not appropriate to hold meetings with parishioners in the sacristy which doubled as my bedroom and an office. There was no place for any visitors to put up. Many thanks to Bishop Nyandoro who came up with this noble idea to have a priest’s house at Chaka mission. It was not convenient for a priest to operate from the sacristy. Our dreams came true and it’s now life giving.’’
While the SMB missionaries supported the project financially, the locals supplied bricks, river sand, cement, pit sand, and gravel towards the construction of the house. Donations also came in cash and kind from well-wishers.
Chaka parish was dear to Fr. Joseph Haag (SMB) who served the parish for many years and donated the money for the construction of the house before he died in 2021. Other priests who serviced Chaka Mission are the likes of Frs. Antony Wey, Candid Stoffel, Joakim Chukucha, Victor Musendeki and Fredrick Nhakuza who is the parish priest for Holy Cross Mission from which Chaka Parish was born.