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Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign
campaign in Byo
Ndlovu,The Standard (Zimbabwe)
April 15, 2007
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BULAWAYO - Church
leaders yesterday defied a police order barring opposition spokesmen
from addressing a prayer meeting in Bulawayo and urged the government
to stop abducting its critics.
The meeting organised
by the Save Zimbabwe Campaign (ZSC) was held at the Roman Catholic
Church's St Patrick's Cathedral in Makokoba to pray for "an
end to the country's political and economic problems".
ZSC was only given permission
to hold the meeting on Friday evening on condition that opposition
leaders would not be allowed to address the service.
But pro-Senate MDCleader
Arthur Mutambara was given the platform and immediately attacked
the government for "worsening the political and economic situation
in the country".
Thokozani Khuphe, vice-president
of the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC, was among the more than 1 000
people who attended the service. They included bishops from Malawi
and South Africa.
The spokesperson of the
anti-Senate MDC, Nelson Chamisa, said Tsvangirai failed to attend
the service because the party was holding an executive meeting in
Harare at the same time.
Speaking at the service,
outspoken Bulawayo cleric Archbishop Pius Ncube said it was time
Zimbabweans "stood up together and confront the Mugabe-led
"The President of
this country is also suffering under the current situation,"
Ncube said. "We have a duty to save him as he and his family
is not at ease. They are suffering and don't know how to help themselves
to get out of this situation."
Mutambara said opposition
parties and civic groups must unite to form a strong coalition ahead
of parliamentary and presidential elections next year.
"There is no alternative
to working together. If Herbert Chitepo, Alfred Nikita Mangena and
Jason Moyo and other late liberation war fighters were alive, they
were going to be with us in fighting the Mugabe-led government,"
In a solidarity message
at the same meeting, the general secretary of the Malawi Council
of Churches, Canaan Phiri, said the region must not be fooled by
claims that Zimbabwe's crisis was as a result of "illegal sanctions".
"The crisis in Zimbabwe
is of your government's making. What you are going through right
now is what we went through under Kamuzu Banda.
"We believe violence
breeds violence and violence against the opposition will not solve
the crisis in Zimbabwe," Phiri said.
SZC leaders in Bulawayo, Ray Motsi and Patson Nhetawere were briefly
detained by police on Thursday over the series of prayer meetings
being held around the country.
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