THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

Anglican Bishops blasted for supporting Mugabe
Tererai Karimakwenda, SW Radio Africa
April 24, 2007

In what appears to be a response to the Pastoral letter issued by the Catholic Bishops last month criticising the Mugabe regime for its greed, corruption and brutality, the Anglican bishops issued their own version during Independence Day celebrations. The letter basically blamed the crisis in Zimbabwe on what they called western economic sanctions. It read in part: "So-called targeted sanctions aimed at the leadership of the country have affected poor Zimbabweans who have borne the brunt of sanctions."

In fact the targeted sanctions are specifically designed so that they do not affect ordinary Zimbabweans. They limit travel by senior government officials and deprive them of access to their assets in participating countries.

The Anglican Bishops also did not address the state-sponsored violence against the opposition and civic groups, or the corruption and mismanagement that has destroyed many government-run institutions.

Father Barnabus Nqindi, an Anglican cleric in South Africa who read the pastoral letter in detail, said his first reaction was laughter because he was flabbergasted by the letter. He explained that the letter sounded like it was written by Bishop Kunonga, the Anglican Bishop of Harare who has been criticised for supporting the Mugabe regime, and the other 14 bishops just put their names down on it.

Father Nqindi said he was disturbed by the fact that the bishops did not address the issues of governance, corruption and the lack of the rule of law that exist in Zimbabwe. He said: "This reaffirms what people say about the Anglican church that it always tows the party line and that Anglican bishops are ZANU-PF men." Regarding the issue of sanctions on which the Bishops blamed Zimbabwe’s deterioration, Father Nqindi said this was a lie. He added: "They were lying to themselves. They were lying to the country." The cleric also saw something positive about this controversial document. He said: "They finally came out of the woods and we can engage them on the position they took."

We were not able to contact Harare’s Anglican Bishop Kunonga for comment.

Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.