The International Union of Students (IUS), a body representing student organisations around the world, has called on the Roman Catholic Church to excommunicate Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe. Describing Mugabe as head of a "repressive government", IUS head of African Affairs Nicholav Kalav said his organisation had written to the Vatican requesting Mugabe's excommunication. He writes in the IUS letter to the Vatican: "Mr Mugabe presides over a government that massacred thousands of civilians in Matabeleland in the 1980s. As a means of reviving his fading political fortunes he has deployed some ex-freedom fighters to harass, harangue, torture, rape and murder supporters of opposition parties in the country. Recently he has been on a trail to persecute divine men of the Lord." In recent months, Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party has been involved in a war of words against the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Matabeleland, Pius Ncube, an outspoken critic of human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. In a statement last week, Zimbabwean church leaders accused Mugabe of "calculated, hateful and unjustified criticism of Archbishop Pius Ncube." Meanwhile, the Vatican has responded to the IUS saying its letter would receive "an objective analysis" and "would be considered if it had any merits." The last time the Vatican excommunicated a world leader was in 1962, when Pope John XXIII excommunicated Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Source: SABC News/ZW News
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