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Bishop calls on international community to keep pressure on Mugabe


The international community must continue to press the newly re-elected government to respect human rights and stop corruption, according to Archbishop Alick Ncube.

According to results released yesterday, President Robert Mugabe won the 9-10 March elections with 52% of the votes. Independent observers denounce numerous irregularities and the Opposition, led by Morgan Tsvangirai, accuses the government of reducing the number of polling stations in towns where opposition candidates were strongest, to make sure many voters did not get to the booths before they closed. The US, UK and New Zealand have accused Mugabe of electoral fraud.

Since January this year at least 33 people have been killed in violence connected with the political battle between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

Archbishop Ncube said: "There have been many irregularities, violence against voters some of whom were prevented from casting their vote. Representatives of the ruling Party were seen at many polling stations. The international community must listen to the few foreign observers allowed to monitor the election."

The Archbishop stressed that Zimbabweans "want democracy". He said: "In Harare alone 80,000 people voted. The spirit of democracy is strong. 80 per cent of Zimbabweans is literate, they recognise government propaganda when they see it."

This why, the Archbishop says "the international community cannot abandon us. It must continue to pressure the Zimbabwe government to respect human rights and spend the country's resources for the good of the people.

LINKS
Zimbabwean Catholic Bishops Conference
Man Of The Cloth Incurs Mugabe's Wrath (Financial Gazette)

SOURCE
Fides

14 Mar 2002