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Zimbabwe Archbishop says priests bribed to keep silent human rights

Many clergy in Zimbabwe have been bribed into silence about human rights violations in Zimbabwe by the government of President Robert Mugabe, according to the Archbishop of Bulawayo Pius Ncube.

Ecumenical News International reports that the archbishop, who is visiting South Africa, said the church is divided by Mugabe "who used a strategy to buy certain churches and individual ministers and bishops".

Meanwhile, a separate report on the website says criticises South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki for his refusal to be seen to act against the Mugabe regime.

Archbishop Ncube said President Mbeki "would be booed" in the streets of Zimbabwe if he were to join the ordinary people and ask them what they feel about his silent diplomacy towards that country.

He said: "Mandela was straightforward and principled. He (Mandela) would not have backed this ... Mugabe's land grab because it did not empower the people, but he used it just to keep in power. This has caused a lot of untold suffering. Three to four million Zimbabweans have been displaced as a result of this. The people don't know why Mbeki is supporting Mugabe. They don't understand it."

Clergy bribed to keep silent on Zimbabwe, says Catholic archbishop (Ecumenical News International 1/3/05)
Mbeki 'would be booed' in Zim ( 1/3/05)

Zimbabwe paper threatened over interview with Archbishop (CathNews 13/1/05)
Zimbabwe church leaders denounce state media control (CathNews 6/10/04)
Zimbabwe law would criminalise church charity work (CathNews 20/8/04)
Zimbabwe archbishop in call for Mugabe protest (CathNews 23/7/04)
Brisbane Commission forges support link with Zimbabwe (CathNews 12/7/04)
Zimbabwean church leaders hit out at government (CathNews 29/9/03)
Zimbabwe church leaders meet Mugabe (CathNews 29/7/03)
Zimbabwe police detain outspoken Archbishop before peace service (CathNews 10/6/03)
Colin Powell thanks Zimbabwe archbishop (CathNews 22/5/03)
Zimbabwe church steps up criticism of Mugabe (CathNews 15/4/03)
Zimbabwe police caution outspoken archbishop (CathNews 3/3/03)
Zimbabwe archbishop rebukes Australian cricketers (CathNews 25/2/03)
Zimbabwe Archbishop says Govt is meddling in Church (CathNews 7/2/03)
Churches increase opposition to Mugabe's 'food policy' (CathNews 29/1/03)
Zimbabwean priests rally in support of Bulawayo archbishop (CathNews 21/1/03)
Writer calls on Zimbabwe Bishops to "unite against evil" (CathNews 27/12/02)
Zimbabwe Catholic bishop calls on Mugabe to quit (CathNews 8/11/02)
Zimbabwe bishop stays silent on harassment of priest (CathNews 28/10/02)
Church in Zimbabwe may resort to legal action to restart feeding scheme (CathNews 20/6/02)
Mugabe threatens to 'regulate' meddling Catholic Justice Commission (CathNews 14/10/02)
Zimbabwe bishop halts feeding program for fear of workers' safety (CathNews 13/6/02)

2 Mar 2005