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Saturday, February 25, 2017
Cardinal Napier: 'the behavior of Mugabe and supporters is an offence against God'
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¬†"The people of Zimbabwe have the right to choose their President in fair and free elections. The Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) passionately supports this legitimate aspiration of the Zimbabwean people" said Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, Archbishop of Durban and spokesman of SACBC which comprises the Catholic Bishops of Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland). In a statement issued on Wednesday the Cardinal expressed the concern of the local Catholic Church for the serious situation which has arisen in Zimbabwe following a presidential election campaign marked by violence and intimidation. "Sad to say politically based violence, intimidation and torture have made a fair and free second round of presidential elections impossible. Opposition candidates have been unable to present their programmes to the voters or have impartial access to the means of information" Cardinal Napier said. The Cardinal fully supports the decision of the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change to withdraw his candidature for the second round of elections on 27 June: "the violence became so intense in recent weeks that the Movement for Democratic Change took the difficult decision not to take part in the vote which has degenerated into a farce. It is understandable that the MDC wishes to protect the lives of its supporters and others who are being targeted. The alternative would have been a non-declared civil war". To pull Zimbabwe out of the crisis Cardinal Napier calls for a "model of government founded on consensus involving all Zimbabwe citizens. The international community should collaborate with the Southern Africa Community for Development to reach a just solution". Cardinal Napier also warns that "the atrocities and barbarity of the Zanu-PF (the party led by President Mugabe) are documented. The behaviour of Mugabe and that of his generals, their wives and hooligan supporters and self-proclaimed war heroes, is an offence against God. Judgement awaits them". The Cardinal's condemnation of Mugabe's regime is total: "we must all ask ourselves who stands to benefit from the present crisis in Zimbabwe. We, the Catholic Bishops of Southern Africa, believe that the behaviour of the ťlite in power deserves rigorous censure. They are a curse for every African. We call on the member nations of the African Union to declare commitment in favour of democracy in Zimbabwe, reject the juridical make-believe which this election has become and refuse to acknowledge Robert Mugabe and his party as a legitimate government ". "We are deeply concerned about this situation. Without a united effort on the part of the international community under the guidance of the countries of southern Africa, the desperate situation of violence, hunger and insecurity will turn into a vast humanitarian crisis which will affect the whole of southern Africa" Cardinal Napier concluded. Source: Fides
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