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says Africa should be ashamed at Zimbabwe repression
March 19, 2007
Desmond Tutu of South Africa says that he and his fellow Africans
should "hang our heads in shame" at the brutal suppression of protest
going on in Zimbabwe. His statement also amounts to an inictment
of his own country's government.
In a response
to recent developments in Harare and elsewhere issued by his office
in Cape Town on Friday 16 March 16 2007, the Anglican honourary
archbishop asked: "How can what is happening... elicit hardly a
word of concern, let alone condemnation from us leaders of Africa?"
"What more has to happen before we who are leaders, religious and
political, of our mother Africa are moved to cry out, 'enough is
enough'? Do we really care about human rights, do we care that people
of flesh and blood, fellow Africans are being treated like rubbish,
almost worse than they were ever treated by rabid racists?"
in the week, Zwelinzima Vavi, secretary-general of the Congress
of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), said events in Zimbabwe
showed that South Africa's policy of "silent diplomacy" had not
Union has also called for change, after pressure from churches,
human rights groups, labour activists and others. Archbishop Tutu
said he was thankful that Cosatu had spoken out.
[the workers'] consternation at the silence of those we would have
expected to speak out on behalf of the voiceless, the powerless
ones," he commented.
president Robert Mugabe remains unmoved by the condemnation, claiming
that it is orchestrated from the West - an accusation that one African
campaigner described as "insulting and patronising to those who
are resisting, those wo are suffering and those who are dying."
Mugabe said the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
had instigated violence that led to what it described as "the alleged
beatings and arrest of its leaders." In fact, these events have
been well documented by reporters and lawyers.
main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, suffered a fractured
skull and internal bleeding as a result of police beatings when
he was arrested during an outlawed prayer meeting held last Sunday
17 March four opposition party workers injured by Zimbabwe's police
were turned away from the airport as they sought to go to South
Africa for specialist medical treatment.
with the people in Zimbabwe has been expressed by Anglican, Catholic,
Lutheran and Mennonite church leaders, among others.
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