OK to invade and remove Mugabe, Ncube tells Brits

Saying that he is prepared to lead the overthrow of President Robert Mugabe but that the people are not ready, Bulawayo Archbishop Pius Ncube has told reporters that Britain would be justified in invading Zimbabwe.

The Courier-Mail reports that Archbishop Ncube told London's Sunday Times the deepening destitution in his country, including millions going hungry and the world's highest inflation rate, meant Britain would be right to act.

"I think it is justified for Britain to raid Zimbabwe and remove Mugabe," he said.

"We should do it ourselves but there's too much fear. I'm ready to lead the people, guns blazing, but the people are not ready."

Archbishop Ncube said the president was squandering money while the people starved and had just spent $US2 million ($A2.37 million) on surveillance equipment while most people struggled along on $US2 ($A2.37) a week.

"How can you expect people to rise up when even our church services are attended by state intelligence people?" the archbishop said.

Zimbabwean Government officials were not available for immediate comment today.

In the past, Mugabe's Government has branded Archbishop Ncube a Western agent helping to co-ordinate a propaganda campaign against Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party as part of a drive to oust it from power.

In May, Mugabe dismissed repeated criticism from the country's Catholic bishops as "nonsense" and warned that his Government could start treating the clergy as political enemies.

There are around one million Catholics among Zimbabwe's 13 million people.

Once one of the most buoyant economies in southern Africa, with a well-educated population, Zimbabwe's economy is now in ruins, with unemployment of 80 per cent and life expectancy tumbling to 37 years for men and 34 years for women.


Britain could invade Zimbabwe: archbishop (Courier-Mail, 1/7/07)

BACKING INVASION: Ncube's comments will spark a furious reaction from the Zimbabwe government (New Zimbabwe, 1/7/07)
Archbishop Calls for Britain to ‘Raid’ Zimbabwe (Christianity Today, 1/7/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Robert Mugabe (Wikipedia)
Pius Ncube (Wikipedia)

Green Bomber militias threaten Zimbabwe Catholics: Ncube (CathNews, 1/6/07)
Bishops back Zimbabwe cricket boycott (CathNews, 11/5/07)
Zimbabwe bishops on "dangerous path", Mugabe warns (CathNews, 7/5/07)
Zimbabwe bishops end "criminal silence" on Mugabe (CathNews, 11/4/07)
Zimbabwe dialogue still possible, African bishops say (CathNews, 4/4/07)
"Ready to face bullets", Zimbabwean archbishop says (CathNews, 23/3/07)
Zimbabwe Church accuses S Africa over failure to act (CathNews, 21/3/07)
Zimbabwe prayer meeting crushed (CathNews, 13/3/07)
Millions facing starvation in Zimbabwe , Archbishop warns (CathNews, 28/11/06)
Archbishop's report exposes Zimbabwean homelessness debacle (CathNews, 1/9/06)
Zimbabwe's anti-terrorism bill threatens freedom, says Justice and Peace director (CathNews, 28/7/06)
Bishops denounce Zimbabwe "clean-up" (CathNews, 20/6/05)

2 Jul 2007