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Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Zimbabwe: Archbishop says church has lost credibility by supporting government
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¬†Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo has said that many churches in Zimbabwe have lost credibility with the poor, because some clergy are supporting the Mugabe regime. "The Church has let down the people very, very greatly by siding with Mugabe ≠ hook, line and sinker, " he said yesterday, in a SW Radio Africa interview with Violet Gonda. Speaking on the Hot Seat programme, he said President Mugabe was using 'divide and rule tactics' to silence opposition from the churches. Some clergy, he said, were even spying for the government. Archbishop Ncube said the Mugabe regime has also used bribes to get support from some senior church leaders. "I can confirm that a lot of money is being given to clerics and farms have been given to senior clerics, to get them to the government side in such a way that when we meet as clergy we can no longer be united." The Archbishop said he did not want to name specific people who have received bribes, saying it would become "nasty and very personal" but he did mention a bishop and a pastor who were well known for having accepted confiscated farms. The corruption also extended to clergymen in the Catholic Church, he said. The Archbishop said he was one of those people who had been offered a farm. But he said: "I am a respectable Catholic, so I refused. I knew they wanted to silence me because I am critical of the land reform programme which is not transparent." Ncube said Mugabe is aware of the power of the churches in Zimbabwe and has divided and bribed some of the leaders to the extent that "we have become unfaithful to our calling we as churchmen are supposed to stand with the poor to defend the poor and we have forgotten our mission." He said he'd rather be poor than accept the government's bribes because there was so much suffering in his country. To listen to the full interview visit: http://www.swradioafrica.com/pages/archives.php Audio archives are saved for two weeks. Hot Seat is also repeated on Thursdays at 6.30pm. Hot Seat is broadcast on SW Radio Africa every Tuesday at 6pm (UK time)
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