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Churches increase opposition to Mugabe's 'food policy'

Outspoken comments of Zimbabwe's Bulawayo Archbishop Pius Ncube late last year have been followed up by further criticisms from a range of Church leaders.

Last November, Ncube spoke out against politicised food and land distribution by Mugabe's government.

In series of statements this month, Bulawayo church leaders, churches in Macicaland and Harare, pastors and clergy expressed concern over the government's partisan attitude in distributing food to starving Zimbabweans.

The churches condemned the government for being partisan in distributing food supplies to the needy. They said they would not tolerate the government's discrimination in the distribution of food.

They criticised the government's orchestrated campaigns of violence, intimidation and torture, that added to the already suffering people.

They called upon the government to change its attitude, saying "hijacking food supplies, hindering the work of NGO' and other concerned bodies in feeding the hungry only increased the suffering of the people".

The church leaders from various faiths including Catholics, Anglican, Methodists and Evangelicals, in show of 'Christian Solidarity', said the situation they were facing on the ground was extremely serious and demanded urgent resolution as famine stalked the land.

They accused President Mugabe for being responsible for frustrating efforts by churches and NGOs to provide help.

"Efforts of churches, NGOs and other concerned bodies to feed the hungry are greatly undermined in many areas by a callous and deliberate policy of rewarding or punishing voters according to their political affiliation," said one statement.

All Africa News Agency

Zimbabwe: police question church aid workers (Independent Catholic News)
Church workers and journalist detained in Zimbabwe (Ananova)
Zimbabwe cannot continue to sustain liabilities (Daily News)
Zimbabwean priests rally in support of Bulawayo archbishop (21/1/03)
Church split over links to Mugabe (The Australian 18/1/02)
Church's silence is unacceptable (The Daily News 15/1/02)
No Cheers in Zimbabwe This Christmas (24/12/02)
Disaster looms for Zimbabwe (6/12/02)
Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference

29 Jan 2003