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Mnangagwa to Address Catholic Bishop's Concerns Amid Calls for Information Minister to Step Down

FILE - Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa addresses mourners at the burial of Zimbabwean minister Perence Shiri, who died of Covid-19, during his burial in Harare, July, 31, 2020.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected Tuesday to issue a statement on the Roman Catholic bishops’ pastoral letter highlighting some social, economic and political issues facing Zimbabwe amid calls for Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa to resign over what some people say are inflammatory tribal remarks.

In a tweet, Information Secretary Nick Mangwana said Mnangagwa is expected to address the pastoral letter, which among other issues, indicated that there are serious human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, arbitrary arrest of state opponents, rampant corruption and other issues directly linked to Mnangagwa’s government.

“Regarding issues around the Pastoral Letter by the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference, President @edmnangagwa is going to issue a comprehensive statement tomorrow.”

In her response to the pastoral letter, Mutsvangwa said, “With nefarious cynicism to history, Archbishop Robert Christopher Ndlovu is inching to lead the Zimbabwe Catholic congregation into the darkest dungeons of Rwanda-type genocide. The letter seeks the revival and continuation of the perennial vices of division. It has a selective and warp-sided reading of history.

“The errant and evil Bishop has a nauseating mental amnesia of the blight of minority settler rule and its baggage of exploitative racism against the totality of the black majority popular of Zimbabwe. The levity of his mental amnesia is worsened by the fact that he tears off pages of the progressive crusade for justice and democracy that has hitherto been the shining virtue of the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe.”

She also said, “…He wants to posit as the leader of righteous Ndebele minority by fanning the psychosis of tribal victimization. Concurrently he sows sins of collective guilty on the Shona majority. That way he seeks to numb the spirit of collective national vigilance against the known and proven enemies of the populace of Zimbabwe.

“His transgressions acquire a geopolitical dimensions as the chief priest of the agenda of Regime Change that is the hallmark of the post-imperial major Western powers for the last two decades.”

Archbishop Ndlovu has not responded to Mutsvangwa’s remarks. The pastoral letter has been supported by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Law Society of Zimbabwe and several other non-profit organizations, individuals, opposition parties and ministers of religion.

Some Zimbabweans say the minister should step down, saying she is fanning tribal conflicts in the country.

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