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Ncube accepts he may lose life in protests
Independent Online
April 17, 2007

London - Outspoken Zimbabwean Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube said in an interview published on Tuesday that he understood that he may lose his life over his continued critical stance against President Robert Mugabe's regime.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph while on a visit to London, Ncube also criticised the leaders of Zimbabwe's neighbours for not doing more to avert the ongoing crisis there.

"The Church has a prophetic role to speak the truth when no one else dares to," the Archbishop of Bulaweyo told the paper.

"I accept that it may mean that I lose my life."

'I accept that it may mean that I lose my life' Ncube described Mugabe as "evil" and said he was "mad for power, and he will cling to it even if it means destroying the economy and destroying Zimbabwe".

He went on to criticise the leaders of neighbouring countries for "letting their people down".

"They (neighbouring leaders) have cared too much for themselves, and too little for their people. Their record, since the end of colonial rule, is enough to make you weep."

Ncube also told the Telegraph that Zimbabwe did not just need a change of ruler, but a strengthening of its democratic institutions: "I believe it is not enough to replace one leader with another."

"We need true transformation in Zimbabwe - that means transformation of democratic institutions and transformation of our attitudes to governance. Zimbabweans have no first hand experience of true democracy."

Long-standing political tensions in Zimbabwe deteriorated last month when state security agents assaulted the leader of the main opposition and scores of supporters and shot dead an activist as they broke up an anti-government rally.

Zimbabwe's economy has also been on a downturn over the past seven years characterised by world-record inflation along with four in every five persons out of work and perennial shortages of commodities like sugar and cooking oil.

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