Anglican Archbishop cuts up collar in Zimbabwe protest

 The Archbishop of York cut up his clerical collar yesterday and said he will not replace it until Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe is out of office. Dr John Sentamu made the symbolic protest gesture live on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show. He said Mr Mugabe had "taken people's identity" and "cut it to pieces", prompting him to do the same. A summit of European and African leaders in Portugal has been dominated by controversy over Mugabe's presence. British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, boycotted the summit in protest. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Mr Mugabe's policies had "damaged Africa". Although Mugabe is banned from the EU, African leaders demanded that the organisers invite him to attend. The summit is being used to agree joint policy aims in areas such as security, development and good governance. Dr Sentamu - who has been a consistent critic of Mr Mugabe's regime - said the international community, especially South Africa, had to act to help Zimbabwe because people were starving. He said African states had to stop blaming someone else for their problems. Speaking as he used a pair of scissors to cut up his collar, he said: "As an Anglican this is what I wear to identify myself, that I'm a clergyman. Do you know what Mugabe has done? He's taken people's identity and literally, if you don't mind, cut it to pieces. This is what he's actually done to a lot of - and in the end there's nothing. So, as far as I'm concerned, from now on I'm not going to wear a dog collar until Mugabe is gone." Zimbabwe's economy has been in freefall for months now with inflation at more than 3,700% - the highest in the world. Only one in five of Zimbabwe's adult population has a job and basic items such as bread, sugar, petrol are not even available in most shops. South Africa's Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu also protested on Friday about the Zimbabwe crisis. Urging EU leaders to confront Mugabe over his human rights abuses during their Lisbon summit, he said silence could be seen as condoning the abuses. "I would expect that the EU leaders would criticise any regime that violates human rights because if you don't, you are condoning those violations. The violators will think you are on their side," Tutu told the Portugese Renascenca Radio. Archbishop Tutu, who said he was deeply saddened with what has happened in Zimbabwe, has over the past seven years been among the few African leaders to publicly criticize Mugabe whom he once described as a "caricature of an African leader." He said he expected EU leaders to "speak without any euphemism on human rights which are being violated so blatantly in Zimbabwe." Source: BBC/ZW News

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