Mugabe warns churches to keep quiet

Church leaders who have denounced the nonegarian strongman are tools of British imperialism, Mugabe claims

President Robert Mugabe has warned religious leaders in Zimbabwe to steer clear of politics for their own good, denouncing clergy who have called for his ouster as tools of British imperialism. Speaking to ZANU-PF activists in Harare last month, the 92 year old Zimbabwean strongman singled out for opprobrium the Rev. Evan Mawarire, a Pentecostal minister who has lead a grassroots campaign for change. “I want to warn leaders of these churches that are emerging only for the sake of money, the likes of Mawarire that Zanu PF will not tolerate any nonsense done in the name of religion, that once you begin to interfere with our politics you are courting real trouble,” he said. Mr. Mawarire, who has fled to South Africa following police threats, has led the #ThisFlag coalition — a social media campaign that has mobilized mass support for change. The Anglican dioceses in Zimbabwe have also lent their support to the reform movement. In a statement posted on Facebook, the Diocese of Harare said things could not continue as they had. “The leadership in the Anglican Church in Harare is daily witnessing the suffering of the people in their respective households. There is biting poverty among the congregants. Some cannot send their children to school, cannot have decent meals, while others have had to cut down on most essential needs. The majority of the people in the Church are unemployed.” President Mugabe warned church leaders: “eep to your religion and we will respect you. We know how to deal with our enemies who have for a long time been itching to effect regime change. We have the means to do that.” He added that civil disobedience would not be tolerated. He told ZANU-PF supporters not to worry about the regime. “[C]ontrol yourselves in the knowledge that the police belongs to us so we will ask them to throw [protesters] in jail so they can also test life in prison.” No true Zimbabwean supported the reform movement, the president said, noting: “I also want to warn foreign embassies, the British, French and Americans who are meddling in our politics, although they do so clandestinely, to desist from that.” The president has called upon clergy who support the regime to stand by his side. At a rally on 8 Aug 2016 in commemoration of Heroes’ Day, the Chaplain-General of the Zimbabwe Police, Assistant Commissioner Jeremiah Doyce, (pictured) said God had ordained Robert Mugabe to be the leader of the Central African nation. The proper place of the Christian in society was service to the leader and to pull together to support the country. “Now people must stand in the gap of sanctions as we have been robbed and plundered by the whites through economic sanctions,” he said.


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