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Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Archbishop Pius Nkube speaks out
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¬†The situation in Zimbabwe is "absolutely desperate" and thousands of people are likely to die of starvation there next year. This was the stark warning last night from the Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube, who is visiting Durban in South Africa, Patrick Leeman reports in today's Natal Mercury. Leeman writes that the archbishop said destitute people were constantly coming to his door in Bulawayo for food and money. He was not allowed to use diocesan funds to feed them because that would be construed by the Mugabe regime as assisting "the enemy". Ncube said he was personally "broke" as a result and was also very run down after persistent intimidation and harassment. President Mugabe's agents were watching him wherever he went to say Mass. He said the Zimbabwean president had even sent a delegation to Rome to ask Pope John Paul II to relieve him of his position as archbishop. Ncube said President Thabo Mbeki's stand on Zimbabwe was "hopeless". "No level-headed person in Zimbabwe has any faith in Mbeki. It is only Mugabe's cronies who are supporting his position," he said. He said professional people ≠ including teachers, nurses and engineers - were fleeing Zimbabwe in droves. Students who wished to go to university or take up a profession, such as nursing, were being forced to attend training camps run by Zanu PF. These were hotbeds of promiscuity and the rape of young women, he said, leading to a reluctance on the part of parents to send their sons and daughters for so-called "training". Ncube said some church leaders in Zimbabwe supported the stand taken by President Mugabe. He was adopting a policy of "divide and rule" towards the churches. Ncube will deliver the annual Archbishop Denis Hurley lecture in Durban on tonight. He will address the Diakonia Council of Churches at a breakfast meeting tomorrow morning.
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