Liberty Mupakati—Mugabe, The Anglican Church and the “Illegal Sanctions”

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The drive to sanitise the offensive regime of Robert Mugabe has sucked in the Church, with the Anglican Church being the most high profile to have openly expressed views that chime with the daily propaganda that is churned out of the government controlled media. The Pastoral Letter of its Bishops released after the Episcopal Synod in April demonstrates how pliant and subjugated the Anglican Church has become to the regime of Robert Mugabe.

One would be forgiven for thinking this report was authored in the Munhumutapa Building as it bore an uncanny resemblance with, and has all the hallmarks of a George Charamba literary product. It has since emerged that some men of the cloth are dissociating themselves from this ecclesiastical fraud.

Students of African history would recall the assertion about “missionaries being forerunners of colonialism” throughout the length and breadth of the continent. The Nolbert Kunongas, Obadiah Msindos, Trevor Manhanga and other state apologists are craving to fill the void left by the late Border Gezi in delivering the church vote to the regime.

The Anglican Pastoral Report of April confirmed the widely held suspicions of the politicisation of the pulpit. The Anglican Bishops' report was a PR coup for an embattled Robert Mugabe as it lent ecclesiastical approval to his obnoxious views about “illegal sanctions”. Kunonga and his fellow primates regard themselves as part of the African Church, and feel duty bound to stand “shoulder to shoulder” with this dictatorship.

One would have thought that the Pastoral letter would empathise with the suffering of its congregation and spoken about the causation of such suffering. Instead, the report parroted the official line that the suffering was a consequence of sanctions. There was a glaring lack of understanding of the dynamics at play in the country and clearly one could see nothing but a resonance with the daily propaganda stuff churned out daily in the Herald and other state media.

That the Herald gave the Report a ringing and rapturous endorsement speaks volumes for how grateful the regime was for the support from these men of cloth. It was in stark contrast to the reception that was given to the Pastoral Letter that was released by the Catholic Bishops at Easter.

The Pastoral Letter led to the Catholic Bishops being labelled opponents of the state and would therefore be treated as such, whilst the Anglican Bishops were garlanded and lauded for their patriotism. The Anglican Bishops report demonstrated just how far removed these primates are from the harsh reality that obtain in the country.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryAnglican Provinces* International News & CommentaryAfrica

Posted May 27, 2007 at 12:40 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Philip Snyder wrote:

The Church is to call all people into relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  This includes the prophetic call to governments that abuse the people and destroy their rights.  I am much prouded of the Roman Catholic bishops that the Anglicans in this instance.

Phil Snyder

May 27, 8:18 pm | [comment link]
2. John B. Chilton wrote:

Phil, we’re on the same page. And it was good to see Akinola speaking firmly with the newly-elected president of Nigeria about the regretable tendencies of so many African governments.

May 28, 4:09 pm | [comment link]
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