Zimbabwe: clergy issue statement of support for Archbishop Pius Ncube

 Following their annual meeting last month, the clergy of the Archdiocese of Bulawayo, have issued the following public statement. We offer our wholehearted and unreserved support to our Archbishop, Pius Ncube. We congratulate him on his exercise of his responsibilities as shepherd of his flock in his diocese. We thank him for his care and concern for that flock, and especially for those most in need and most marginalised: the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the sick, the bereaved, and all those who suffer injustice in the cause of right. We congratulate Archbishop Pius for his determination to speak out the truth - the reality which is known to all loyal Zimbabweans, which is spoken of in our homes and in the food queues, but which the normal citizen fears to say in public. We condemn those who harass, who attack, who plan evil against the Archbishop. We condemn those who attempt to silence his voice. We call upon such per sons to repent and reform their ways. We remind such persons that they will appear before the Almighty Judge on the last day when they shall answer for their deeds. We urge Archbishop Pius Ncube to continue in the footsteps of the strong Hebrew Prophets and Christian Martyrs who were persecuted and silenced in their day by weak and corrupt leaders. We urge the Archbishop to continue to take his inspiration our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who was made to suffer at the hands of evil men. We pray for Zimbabwe, that the nation may quickly be restored to peace and prosperity, to honesty and transparency, to justice and the rule of law. We pray that all Christian leaders take up their prophetic role in defence of their flock, regardless any fear of persecution which their people's oppressors will meet out to them. We thank the Bishops of neighbouring nations for the public support they have given to Archbishop Ncube. There is therefore no place for neutrality in the face of the evil which is destroying our nation. Time has run out for compromise with an evil regime. Attempts to use personal influence and persuasion have only allowed a corrupt system to consolidate its power. We therefore now call upon the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference and its Secretary General to come out publicly with a clear and honest voice - on behalf of the voiceless -as their predecessors did during the liberation struggle. We too are shepherds and we pray that our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, will help us to be good shepherds, willing to lay down our lives for our flocks when the thief or the brigand seeks to devour them.

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