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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
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.
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.
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.
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