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Theme: Crisis in Zimbabwe

March 21, 2007

Catholic News Agency: “Zimbabwe needs your prayers more than ever,” African priest tells ACN

Father Joaquín Alliende, the international ecclesiastical assistant of Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), is asking all Catholic faithful to pray for Zimbabwe after receiving a message from a priest in the country. “We recommend the Zimbabwean people to the Sacred Heart of the Lord, so that they will recognise the fruit of the Resurrection,” Fr. Alliende said.

ACN received a message from a Zimbabwean priest, who asked to remain anonymous but requested a call for prayers be issued. “The political situation in Zimbabwe is reaching a boiling point,” the African priest reported.

“You may have seen the scenes of brutality against the leader and members of the only viable opposition party in the international media in recent days. For us who are on the ground, the brutality caused by a government which claims to be serving the interests of the people of Zimbabwe makes us very ashamed before the global family.”

“In this age and time,” he continued, “nobody would have expected such barbarism in a country which claims to be a democratic nation but this is the true reality in our sad and beloved country, Zimbabwe.”

“Like before, I am kindly asking for your prayers,” the priest said. “Actually, Zimbabwe needs your prayers more than ever before; for the people are experiencing a multitude of problems ranging from high inflation, unemployment, food shortages, and political violence.”

The priest said that although times are extremely tough, “we are beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel.” He said that the recent show of violence against the people of Zimbabwe is actually a sign that things may soon change. “The bankrupt regime has run out of ideas, money, and political credibility. Hence, the only weapon left it is to use force against its own people.”

Catholic News: Zimbabwe prayer meeting crushed

One person was killed and several injured after hundreds of shotgun and teargas armed riot police stopped a Harare prayer meeting that had met under the banner of the “Save Zimbabwe campaign”.

(…)

Organisers of the prayer meeting decided to go ahead with the rally despite police warnings on Saturday that it would not be permitted. Different groups united under the banner of the “Save Zimbabwe Campaign.”

They stressed that the gathering in the Highfield area was a patriotic event concerned with the future of the nation. But the authorities took a different view.

According to Zimdaily.com, the government crack down included an attack on a Catholic church in Highfield.

The report claims that St Mary’s Catholic Church was unceremonious abandoned when riot policemen threw tear gas canisters into the church in order to disperse the congregation.

Fr Mhembere who leads the Catholic parish confirmed the incident saying it was a shocking experience for most parishioners.

“It was shocking to say the least. I don’t understand why the police decided to throw teargas in a church full of worshippers”, said the clergyman.

* * *

Wikipedia: Robert Mugabe

Robert Gabriel Mugabe (born 21 February 1924) is a Zimbabwean politician and the current President of Zimbabwe. He has been the head of government in Zimbabwe since 1980, first as Prime Minister and later as first executive President.

In recent years, Mugabe has attracted international criticism for corruption, mishandling of land reforms, economic mismanagement, and a deteriorating human rights situation in Zimbabwe. According to most outside observers his policies have led to economic collapse and massive starvation over the course of the last ten years….

Wikipedia: Pius Ncube

Pius Ncube (1946 – ) is the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, widely known as a human rights advocate and an outspoken critic of President Robert Mugabe. He heads a multi-denominational church coalition that seeks to improve the conditions of Zimbabweans. He has received a Human Rights Award from Human Rights First on October 23, 2003, for speaking out against torture and confronting the Mugabe government for starving certain regions of Zimbabwe for political reasons. He has received many death threats for his activities.

Previous elections in Zimbabwe have been plagued with violence and corruption, and Ncube has been outspoken against this. Believing that the 2005 Zimbabwe parliamentary elections would be fixed, Ncube called for a “popular mass uprising” in the style of the Orange Revolution or Tulip Revolution to remove Mugabe from power. “I hope people get so disillusioned that they really organise against this government and kick him out by non-violent popular mass uprising,” Ncube was quoted as saying. In response, Mugabe has called Ncube a half-wit and a liar. After the March 2005 elections, Ncube repeated his call for a peaceful rebellion. Referring to Mugabe, he said “I am praying that he goes home gently – At 84, he has lived a full life.”

Updates:
NPR: Critics Urge Zimbabwe’s Mugabe to Step Down
(Remarks by Archbishop Pius Ncube at the end of audio report)

Independent Catholic News: Zimbabwe: Archbishop Ncube urges peaceful protests

Archbishop Pius Ncube yesterday urged the people of Zimbabwe to fill the streets in a protest against state-orchestrated violence. The Archbishop of Bulawayo said he was willing to lead a campaign of peaceful resistance to force President Robert Mugabe out of office.

Archbishop Pius Ncube told a gathering of clerics, pro-democracy activists and mostly Western diplomats in Harare on Thursday that: “We must be ready to stand, even in front of blazing guns.”

He said: “We have to stand up against this oppression. The time for radicalism is now. If we gather a crowd of 20,000, the government will not use its guns.”

CWNews: Zimbabwe bishops condemn “overtly corrupt” regime

FrontPageMag: The Religious Left’s Monster

newzimbabwe: Interview: Archbishop Ncube and Bishops Manhanga and Motsi

CWNews: Mugabe threatens Zimbabwe’s bishops

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has warned that the country’s Catholic bishops are following a “dangerous path” by criticizing his regime…

CNA: A Cry for Prayer from Zimbabwe

The Independent: The tyrant and the archbishop: How a good man was silenced by scandal

Video:

Pius Ncube on Zimbabwe: http://www.nehandaradio.com

See also:
Telegraph: Legacy of a ‘lucky coward’
The Herald: To Topple a Tyrant

Blog: Zimbabwe: Outpost of Tyranny
normblog: Pius Ncube speaks (June 2005)

Related Posts:
Report: Zimbabwe archbishop calls for overthrow of government

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