Ncube says adultery claims "politically motivated"

Zimbabwe's Archbishop Pius Ncube, an outspoken critic of President Robert Mugabe, has been accused of an adulterous affair with a former secretary but his lawyers say the claims are politically motivated.

But Archbishop Ncube declined to explicitly deny the affair, according to an Age report.

In legal papers served on the archbishop in Bulawayo, Onesisums Sibanda is demanding $Z20 billion ($A185,000) in damages from the cleric for the alleged adultery with his wife, Rosemary. The state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation said Ms Sibanda, who worked at St Mary's Cathedral, admitted the affair in an interview.

ZBC followed court officials into the archbishop's office in a move that his lawyers said was evidence of an orchestrated attempt to destroy his credibility because of his virulent criticism of the Government, including calling Mr Mugabe a murderer and a monster.

But on Monday the archbishop declined to deny the affair. He said he would wait for the matter to come to court and that the accusations were politically motivated.

"You see these people are always following me and trying to find something to try and fix me," he said. "There were a dozen news men accompanying this man (Mr Sibanda) to the court and then they splashed this before even giving me the summons."

Adultery is illegal, although rarely prosecuted, in Zimbabwe.

The accusation comes a week after Archbishop Ncube returned from South Africa, where he launched a report that accused the Zimbabwean state of torture and illegal killings.

"Mugabe is a man who is a megalomaniac. He loves power, he lives for power. Even his own party is appealing to him to step down," he said in Johannesburg.

Zimbabwe cleric accused of adultery (The Age, 18/7/07)
Mugabe critic accused of affair with secretary (Sydney Morning Herald, 18/7/07)

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

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18 Jul 2007