Anglican bishop says violence is destroying Zimbabwe

 Lawlessness and violence perpetrated by those entrusted with ensuring law and order are destroying Zimbabwe, a prominent bishop told church, civic and opposition leaders who gathered in Harare on Monday to pray for peaceful elections next month, Nqobizitha Khumalo reported on ZW Online. Elections for a new president, parliament and local councils take place on 29 March, but observers believe the government policy of violent intimidation against the opposition means that the poll will not be free and fair. The Acting Anglican Bishop of Harare, Sebastian Bakare, said on Monday that chaos in the run-up to the elections on 29 March was promoting anarchy i and called on Zimbabweans to pray for an end to the violence and lawlessness. "The environment of lawlessness is destroying us," he said. Bishop Bakare was part of three-member committee of bishops that met President Robert Mugabe and main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai last year in a bid to broker dialogue between the political rivals. The clergymen have said they will step up their bid to facilitate dialogue especially in view of the evident failure of South African President Thabo Mbeki,s bid to broker a lasting solution to Zimbabwe's deepening political and economic crisis. Four people received awards from the Christian Alliance for their work in promoting jistive and peace in Zimbabwe. They were: Bishop Bakare, Father Nigel Johnson of community radio station, Radio Dialogue, South African Women's Institute for Migration Affairs Joyce Dube and Bishop Paul Verryn of the Methodist Church in Johannesburg. Source: ZW News Online

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