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Zimbabwe archbishop in call for Mugabe protest

Archbishop Pius Ncube yesterday called on opponents of Robert Mugabe's regime to protest when the country's cricketers meet England in the Champions Trophy in the UK in September.

Archbishop Ncube, who led protests during Australia's World Cup fixture against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo last year, said that under Mugabe's "evil" regime sport is a legitimate arena for protest.

The Guardian reports that England will meet Zimbabwe on 10 September, and in October they have five one-day internationals scheduled in Zimbabwe. The Test series was cancelled when Zimbabwe's Test status was withdrawn after 15 white players were dismissed.

Ncube, visiting London to raise awareness of human rights abuses, stopped short of calling for England to boycott the tour but said protests were appropriate.

"In an unhealthy situation people have the right to protest," he said. "Robert Mugabe is president of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union and in Zimbabwe everything is political, even sport.

"Every opportunity should be used to protest against the evil that is being carried out in Zimbabwe by this dictator against its people. Life is impossible and the suffering is huge. The most important thing to remember is the suffering of the ordinary people who just want food on the table and a roof above their head. Everything else is a distraction from that issue."

Cleric in call for Mugabe protest (The Guardian/Associated Press 22/7/04)

Pius Ncube Fails Dismally (The Herald, Harare/ 22/7/04)
Zimbabwean archbishop in London (Independent Catholic News 22/7/04)
Mugabe accused of using dead people's votes (ABC 21/7/04)
Blair rapped over Zimbabwe inaction (Reuters 21/7/04)
Vatican dismisses critics of archbishop (Business Day 15/7/04)
Zimbabwe: politician attacks Archbishop Pius Ncube (Independent Catholic News 15/7/04)
South African cardinal calls for sanctions against Zimbabwe (CathNews 15/7/04)

23 Jul 2004