Archbishop Sentamu calls for Zimbabwean refugees to be allowed to work

 Hundreds of expatriate Zimbabweans packed St Margaret's Church, Westminster Abbey, for a service of prayer highlighting the plight of their homeland today. The preacher was the Archbishop of York, The Most Revd Dr John Sentamu, who called on the expatriate community and UK citizens to use the service Restore Zimbabwe as a springboard for a concerted effort to restore constitutional democracy in the African country. He said he hoped the "rest of the world will wake up too" to the "brutality" of President Robert Mugabe's regime, after the G8 group of industrialised nations said they did not accept that the re-elected government reflected the will of the Zimbabwean people. But while applauding PM Gordon Brown's move to suspend forced deportations, Dr Sentamu said: "Give back to your brothers and sisters their human dignity... Show your humanity. Show your statesmanship.,, I know that the government is locked in a moral conundrum. But I believe that you should do the right thing for the right person at the right time." In his introduction to the service the Revd Robert Wright, Rector of St Margaret's and Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, said: 'We all share pain in the current troubles in Zimbabwe and we pray for peace, justice, reconciliation and prosperity for this proud and beautiful country.' Collects were read by Fr Amon Gonte, Vicar-General of Matabeleland; and Fr Xavier Munyongani, Chaplain to the Roman Catholic Zimbabwean community in London. The First Reading was given by Kate Hoey MP (Isaiah 61: 1-4) and the Second Reading by Chipo Chaya in Shona and by Luka Phiri in Ndebele. The Blessing was given by the Dean of Westminster, The Very Reverend Dr John Hall. The service was sung by the London Zimbabwe Choir conducted by Chipo Chaya and the organ was played by Nicholas O'Neill. After the service, a rally, organised by London Citzens was held in Parliament Square. Further reports to follow. Source: Westminster Abbey

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