Zimbabwe: churches warn of violence if government fails

Churches in Zimbabwe have warned that there could be bloodshed in the country following a rupture in relations between Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe and his party, the ZANU-PF. 

A statement issued  today by the Christian Alliance of Zimbabwe, an organization formed by Catholics, Anglicans, Evangelicals, and Pentecostals, says:

'We, the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, received the news of the fallout between Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change and Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front with concern...To us this may indicate the first step towards the disintegration and failure of the inclusive government. We are concerned that the collapse of the inclusive government may lead to widespread violence in the country which will have a negative impact on the region."

The government of national unity was established in February 2009 following a long political conflict between President Mugabe and the main leader of the opposition, Tsvangirai,  which also led to civil violence and clashes in the country. Tsvangirai disputed the first outcome of the elections in2008.
Thanks to the mediation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), an accord was reached for the sharing of powers (President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai) and the formation of a government of national unity. After months of
difficulties, on 15 October, the Movement for Democratic Change announced the partial boycotting of government activity, accusing the Presidential Party (ZANI-PF) of “being an unreliable and dishonest partner.” Since then, the Ministers of the MDC have boycotted government meetings. The MDC especially regrets the fact that it is unable to control the security forces and affirms that its own militants still suffer arrest and abuse from the police.

A recent meeting between Mugabe and Tsvangirai has not cleared things up and tensions continue to rise in the country.

Manfred Novak, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, was forced to return to the Harare Airport by police forces controlled by the government, after having come to Zimbabwe upon the invitation of Tsvangirai.

Source: Fides

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