Connect with us

News

Zimbabwe rejects Catholic bishops’ criticism of corruption and abuse

Published

on


Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Police have been accused of strong-arm tactics against anti-government protesters

Zimbabwe’s government has dismissed a letter by Roman Catholic bishops highlighting corruption, poverty and human rights abuses.

“There is no crisis, political or otherwise,” said Information Secretary Nick Mangwana.

He accused the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishop’s Conference (ZCBC) of joining groups seeking “to manufacture crises”.

The bishops had called for an urgent resolution to the country’s economic and political challenges.

“The struggle in Zimbabwe, has resulted in a multi-layered crisis of convergence of economic collapse, deepening poverty, food insecurity and human rights abuses,” said seven bishops from the Zimbabwe’s main cities and towns in a letter released on Friday.

“Corruption in the country has reached alarming levels,” they added.

Zimbabweans have been protesting against alleged government corruption and a deepening economic crisis with inflation running at more than 700%.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has, however, blamed his political opponents of working with foreigners to try to destabilise the country. He called them “bad apples” and warned that he will “flush” them out.

His government has recently attracted heavy criticism over a crackdown targeting anti-government protesters which has resulted in several people being assaulted and arrested.

Prominent journalist Hopewell Chin’ono was charged last month with inciting public violence. He is still in detention after being denied bail.

He had exposed alleged corruption in the health ministry during the purchase of medical supplies to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Images of police assaulting protesters have been shared online sparking a global campaign using the hashtag #ZimbabweanLivesMatter to highlight rights abuses.

Celebrities like rappers Ice Cube, AKA and Lecrae and actresses Thandie Newton and Pearl Thusi have expressed support.

What else did the bishops say?

“Fear runs down the spine of many of our people today. The crackdown of dissent in unprecedented,” the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishop’s Conference said in their letter.

“Voices of various governments, the European Union, the African Union, and the UN on the desperate situation in Zimbabwe have not only confirmed the seriousness of the human rights breaches by government agents but the need to rally behind #ZimbabweanLivesMatter,” they said.

But writing in the state-owned The Herald newspaper, Mr Mangwana defended the government.

“Zimbabwe, like most countries in the world, is currently grappling with challenges attendant to illegal sanctions, drought and the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

He said President Mnangagwa had demonstrated his commitment to fight corruption, highlighting the arrest of high profile individuals and strengthening of anti-corruption bodies.

The information secretary also said the bishops had ignored the impact that close to two decades of economic sanctions had had on the country.

However, his senior colleague, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, was scathing in her criticism of the church leaders, particularly of ZCBC’s president Archbishop Robert Ndlovu from the minority Ndembele ethnic group.

She described him as “evil minded”, and accused him of fanning ethnic division and made comparisons to the role of the Church in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Ms Mutsvangwa comments have been slammed as dangerous hate speech

Opposition party MDC Alliance called the comments “incendiary hate speech” and “unacceptable”.

“The singling out of a Ndebele archbishop… is discrimination on tribal grounds,” tweeted MDC-Alliance spokeswoman Fadzayi Mahere, warning against the reviving of Zimbabwe’s “history of genocide”.

In the 1980s thousands of civilians – mainly ethnic Ndebeles – were killed when the late ex-president Robert Mugabe led a military-style crackdown on alleged militants known as Gukurahundi.

The Ndebeles were perceived to be backing the opposition, while Mugabe was from the majority Shona ethnic group.

Several people commenting on Twitter have termed Ms Mutsvangwa comments as dangerous hate speech.

More on Zimbabwe’s economic crisis:

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionCoronavirus: Zimbabwe lockdown hampered by food shortages



Source – www.bbc.co.uk

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge

Published

on

Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

STATEMENT
Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.

ChangeYouCanTrust

CountryBeforeSelf

Continue Reading

News

Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?

Published

on

The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

Continue Reading

News

Bobi Wine released on Bail

Published

on

Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

Continue Reading

Trending