Archbishop wants Zimbabwe Regime Change
to Halt Silent Genocide
ZIMBABWE'S leading cleric has called on Britain to invade the country and topple President Robert Mugabe.
Pius Ncube, the Archbishop of Bulawayo, warned that millions were facing death from famine, unable to survive amid inflation believed to have soared to 15,000 per cent.
His following comments came as inflation forced relatively well-paid teachers to work as prostitutes in order to afford one meal a day:
“I'm ready to lead the people, guns blazing, but the people are not ready." I'm ready to lead the people, guns blazing, but the people are not ready.”
“How can you expect people to rise up when even our church services are attended by state intelligence people?"
"People in our mission hospitals are dying of malnutrition.”
“Is the world just going to let everything collapse in on us?"
While the vast majority of Zimbabweans are struggling to survive, members of the Mugabe elite are finding that things have never been so good.
Not only government ministers and officials from the ruling Zanu-PF party, but also top police and army officers and High Court judges have been cleverly woven into Mr Mugabe's patronage system, benefiting hugely from his despotic rule.
Many have been allotted property that was violently seized from white farmers. But their real wealth comes from access to foreign exchange at less than 1000th of the rate on the streets.
This enables them to buy expensive vehicles such as the Hummers, S-class Mercedes and Toyota Prados that fill hotel carparks in Harare.
The Mugabe elite's children attend private schools or study in Britain, the US or Australia.
Roy Bennett, of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change:
"Those with access to power are literally bleeding the country and becoming richer daily.”
“There's an elite of around 5000 scoring from the situation and there are enough of them in high places to maintain the status quo.
"They realise their only way to survive is to keep Mugabe there, because once he goes it's a bun-fight between them."
Zimbabwe's silent genocideFather Oskar Wermter, a German Jesuit priest working in Mbare, Harare’s oldest township, has spent 37 years in Zimbabwe and says he has never seen things so bad, even during the liberation war.
severe drought has left the area, like much of southern Zimbabwe, with 95% crop failure.
This year’s maize harvest is expected to be 500,000 tonnes, compared with the 1.4m tonnes needed.
the Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo: “The government is very happy about the food situation as they know they can use food to make people vote for them again,”
At Mpilo hospital in Bulawayo, the Japanese-funded paediatric unit, one of the nurses, pointing out that her monthly salary of Z$3.2m (£4.50) barely covers her bus fares of Z$120,000 a day. “I eat nothing during my shift as I can’t afford it.”
“If the middle classes have been so pauperised that teachers are forced to become prostitutes to feed their family and use firewood because there’s no more power, imagine what’s happening to the most marginalised.”
Father Oskar Wermter, a German Jesuit priest cites the case of Chipo Kurewa, a lively teacher in her forties whose home was bulldozed during Operation Murambatsvina (Drive out the Filth) in which 700,000 people saw their houses and businesses demolished. “After that, she was in constant trouble, struggling to find work and accommodation and then diagnosed HIV-positive,” says Wermter.
one in three people in Harare suffers mental disorders. The main reasons were inability to find food and having belongings taken away by the authorities.
In 15 years, life expectancy has fallen to 34 years for women and 37 for men, by far the lowest in the world.
These are villages of grandparents and grandchildren. There is nobody of my age. In a whole day we meet only one person between the ages of 20 and 50.
Many have fallen victim to the lethal combination of Aids and hunger. The gravestones tell their own story. All were born in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Others are part of an exodus of 4m Zimbabweans forced to leave their country. According to a Unicef official, 50% of all health posts in Zimbabwe are vacant and there are more Zimbabwean nurses in Manchester than in Bulawayo.
The magnitude of the exodus becomes starkly clear across the border in South Africa, to which the majority of people flee. More than 3,000 sleep at the Central Methodist Church in central Johannesburg every night - every person I talk to is a professional: accountants, bankers, headmasters. One was the clerk of the High Court. One man earns more in a day’s gardening than he did in a month of teaching science in Zimbabwe.
It comes amid inflation estimated to have reached 10,000-15,000%.
By the end of June prices were doubling daily. Last week the government sent in police and militia youths to force shopkeepers to lower prices. Many responded by locking their doors and suspending business.