Zimbabwe: Anglican Communion insists Mugabe should quit

 A coalition government is now in place in Zimbabwe after opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai became prime minister, but leaders of the Anglican Communion are convinced nothing short of President Robert Mugabe's resignation will solve the country's crisis.

The Zimbabwean parliament last Thursday unanimously passed a constitutional amendment to create the post of prime minister as part of the power-sharing deal negotiated under the auspices of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Anglican Archbishops meeting this week in Egypt, however, insisted Mugabe was "illegitimately in office having lost last year,s election and should step down.

At the same time the primates dedicated Ash Wednesday, February 25, as a day of prayer and solidarity with the Zimbabwean people.

They archbishops expressed solidarity with Zimbabweans, assuring them of support and prayers as they face gross violation of human rights, hunger and loss of life as well as the scourge of a cholera epidemic, all due directly to the deteriorating socio-political and economic situation in Zimbabwe under Mugabe.

They termed Mugabe's disrespect for the democratic process so that he "illegitimately holds on to power a matter of grave concern.

"Even the recent political situation of power-sharing, brokered by SADC, may not be long-lasting and simply further entrench Mr Mugabe's regime. There appears to be a total disregard for life, consistently demonstrated by Mr Mugabe through systematic kidnap, torture and the killing of Zimbabwean people, the archbishops said.

"We therefore call upon President Robert Mugabe to respect the outcome of the elections of 2008 and to step down. We call for the implementation of the rule of law and the restoration of democratic processes.

The prelates requested that the Archbishop of Canterbury lead a delegation to Zimbabwe to exercise a ministry of presence and to show solidarity with the Zimbabwean people. They also requested the president of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) and the Chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa to facilitate a meeting with the African Union president and other African political leaders (especially those of SADC) to highlight the plight of the Zimbabweans.

"We call upon parishes throughout the Anglican Communion to assist the Anglican Communion Office, the Archbishop of Canterbury's Office and the Anglican Observer to the United Nations in addressing the humanitarian crisis by giving aid through such mechanisms as the Archbishop of Canterbury is able to designate, and asking that Lambeth Palace facilitate processes by which food and other material aid for Zimbabwe can be distributed through the dioceses of the Church of the Province of Central Africa, the archbishops said.

Source: CISA

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