Harare, Zimbabwe, Nov 22, 2017 / 10:57 am
As events continue to unfold surrounding the resignation of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, Catholic bishops of the country have called for the prioritization of the nation’s best interests through peace efforts and a return to Constitutional order.
“The Church has keenly and prayerfully followed the recent tense events in the country,” read a Nov. 19 statement from a group of Zimbabwe bishops.
“We, your Shepherds, encourage those central to these delicate processes (particularly the Zimbabwe Defense Forces and the political leadership) that they maintain the best interests of the nation as a priority and continue to work tirelessly for a peaceful end to the crisis and to speedy return to normalcy and Constitutional order,” the statement continued.
The letter was signed by Bishop Michael D. Bhasera of Masvingo, apostolic administrator of Gweru; Archbishop Robert C. Ndlovu of Harare, apostolic administrator of Chinhoyi; Archbishop Alex Thomas of Bulawayo; Bishop Albert Serrano of Hwange; Bishop Paul Horan of Mutare; and Bishop Rudolf Nyandoro of Gokwe.
After Mugabe fired vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa two weeks ago, thousands of protesters took to the streets, calling for Mugabe’s resignation.
After being placed under house arrest in an apparent coup by the Zimbabwe National Army, an impeachment hearing was opened against Mugabe. He announced his resignation on Nov. 21, after a rule of 37 years.
The Zanu-PF Members of Parliament have brought charges against Mugabe, saying that he allowed his wife, Grace Mugabe, to usurp constitutional powers and also violated the constitution during elections.
He has also been accused of economic mismanagement. Currently, the average person in Zimbabwe is 15 percent poorer now than they were before Mugabe’s rule, according to BBC.