Is Robert Mugabe now playing politics with his maker?

OPINION – Mugabe’s recent attack on Catholic Bishops is very disturbing at a time when Christians all over the world were marking the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. What is even more worrying are reports of police intimidation of Anglicans in Zimbabwe.

Surely, for Mugabe to disown the Catholic Church in which he was born 87 years ago and accuse the Bishops of being liars and puppets of the West is just unbelievable. Considering the fact that he was cared for by priests and bishops as a young boy then as a political prisoner and during the liberation struggle, Mugabe may soon have to apologise to his maker like he is doing to SADC leaders after losing it.

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“Even though I was born in this church (Catholic), their bishops are all over me on a daily basis. They attack me and criticise me because they are led by the whites who have their interests and agendas. They say I am an oppressor because they are not happy that the country is being led by a Blackman,” Mugabe was quoted as saying on

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Thursday 21st April 2011 (The Daily News, 22/04/11). So he thinks he is not an oppressor? While he fought for liberation, Mugabe has turned against his own people and that is what the church is telling him but he does not want to hear the truth.  \r\n

It is very sad that some Anglicans were reportedly worshipping in Africa Unity Square and under trees, while other worshippers were appealing for police protection after being ousted from the Anglican Cathedral in Harare by a Mugabe supporter, Norbert Kunonga who was ex-communicated in 2008.

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More shocking are reports that tens of thousands of Zimbabwe’s Anglicans are being forced to worship in pubs, tents and private schools while their churches stand empty, shuttered by the controversial Nobert Kunonga. All Saints Church in Marondera Vestries were said to have been vandalised as Kunonga people allegedly removed locks and put their own as they have turned them into residential homes.

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Some of the news reports are very frightening and distressing. For example that there were strong suspicions that the 89-year old Anglican priest Jesca Mandeya who was found dead in February was allegedly murdered by security operatives (The Zimbabwe Mail, 19/02/11). Church members and Bishops are living in fear of being killed as some of them continued to be followed by suspected operatives of the spy agency.

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Strangely, there are some similarities with developments in China where dozens of Christians were arrested on Sunday 24th April when police prevented an evangelical Protestant church from holding its Easter Sunday service, as the state continued its attack on protests against one-party rule (Telegraph.co.uk, 24/04/11).

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Is this what Mugabe meant by looking East policy? Is Robert Mugabe now playing politics with his maker?

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Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, zimanalysis2009@gmail.com