By Charlie Madondo|
A senior Roman Catholic church clergyman has accused dictator Robert Mugabe’s government of using violence and threats against priests who speak out against growing injustice in Zimbabwe.
“When priests speak out about widespread injustice, they are threatened or even physically attacked,” Father Felix Tachiona Mukaro told the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.
Mukaro said ruling Zanu PF party politicians were more concerned with power than addressing the poverty and economic collapse gripping the country.
“All they care about is influence and power, not the country itself or the fact that the economy is in shambles and people don’t know how they are supposed to make it through the day,” Mukaro said, adding: “Many don’t even have a dollar a day to survive.”
Mugabe is a Catholic himself and has met several popes at the Vatican while Pope John Paul II visited him in Zimbabwe. He clashed with the local Roman Catholic leadership after the church published details of killings and other atrocities he ordered against the Ndebele people under a brutal 1980s operation dubbed Gukurahundi. Subsequently, archbishop Pius Ncube, an outspoken Mugabe critic who helped expose the genocide in which government forces murdered 50 000 people, was hounded out of Zimbabwe. Several Catholic workers were murdered by government agents, including the Roman Catholic think tank Silveira House researcher Munhumeso Manenji.
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