Pastor petitions pope to excommunicate Mugabe

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. File picture: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. File picture: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

Published Oct 12, 2016


Harare - A Zimbabwean pastor on Tuesday petitioned the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, to excommunicate President Robert Mugabe for running down the country’s economy and exposing the country’s citizens to poverty.

Pastor Phillip Mugadza, who first made headlines in December last year when he was arrested for staging a one-man demonstration against Mugabe at the Zanu-PF conference in Victoria Falls, handed in the petition at the Catholic Nunciature in Zimbabwe.

The petition was handed over to Father Gabriel Pesce, the secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature in Zimbabwe. The Catholic Nunciature is like an embassy representing the pope in the country.

“We of the above-mentioned nation hereby hand you this petition asking you to excommunicate the president of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe. The nation and its peace-loving people have been subjected to poverty of unimaginable levels when Zimbabwe is endowed with all minerals discovered so far,” read part of the petition.

The petition noted that since Mugabe called himself a Catholic, it was only proper for Zimbabweans to petition the pope to help the country before the ageing leader carried out his threats to crush all dissenting voices.

“We so very much Your Holiness beg for your intervention. We are so very much aware of how you are so compassionate about the oppressed and the suffering. According to Romans 13:4, a leader is a representative of God here on Earth, but according to the given account, there is no proof of godly representation in his leadership,” the petition read.

Mugadza later told journalists after handing over the petition that it was his hope that the pope would see sense in the petition and take action.

“I handed over the petition to Father Gabriel Pesce who is the secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature in Harare. I strongly believe that if they take heed to this petition then the pope will do the right thing because the nation of Zimbabwe is going through a very difficult time,” he said.

He said Zimbabwean pastors could no longer stand and watch things going wrong in the county and had to demand good governance, adding that what was happening in the country was too ghastly to narrate to future children and should immediately be addressed.

“If our president was 29 years then there was a bit of hope, but being 92 years old shows us that there is no more hope, so we need to tell him that in no uncertain terms he should retire, it is time for him to go. I just want to urge the nation of Zimbabwe to make sure that in their little ways they try to send a message to say that he has got to go,” he said.

Mugadza urged Zimbabweans to demonstrate for seven consecutive days next week to demand the exit of Mugabe in any way they could.

“I am suggesting that with our national radio and television stations wherever you could be if you know there’s going to be a live call in, just make a call; whatever will be discussed there don’t worry about it. Just make a call on national television and just begin to say that Mugabe must go,” he said.

He said he would continue to don his national flag wherever he was despite the purported ban on carrying, selling or displaying the national flag.


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