Mugabe using Smith’s methods: Catholics

via Mugabe using Smith’s methods: Catholics 03 August 2014

WHILE Zimbabwe made great strides in the provision of health care and other social services after independence in 1980, the country adopted a military leadership model which has stifled democracy, Catholic bishops have said.

In its latest pastoral letter, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) said the country’s leadership needed to act with haste to stem the devastating tide of corruption adding that “the habit of ruling without being accountable to the majority did not die on 17 April 1980”.

Explained the prelates: “There was much generous idealism in the early years and real strides were made in providing education and health care for that majority.

“But then three things happened. The leadership model developed during the liberation war, which, by the nature of war, had to be military, was retained after the war and any dissent was seen as disloyalty. This discouraged the blossoming of the democracy won at independence.

“Secondly, traditional forms of leadership, dating back to pre-colonial times fitted well with this military style so that tradition and militarism blended into command-style governance where ‘citizens are unable to effectively take part in public life and popular opinion cannot make a difference.”

Since the turn of the century, when a credible opposition to President Robert Mugabe’s hold on power emerged, Zimbabwe has been stuck in a vicious circle of political violence and contested election outcomes which have undermined progress in the country.

Mugabe’s government, the bishops said, had done little to change the system used by the Rhodesians led by Ian Smith.

“While abhorring the colonial system that it replaced, the new government, in fact, did little to change its methods,” the letter added.

Mugabe has been accused of being a brutal dictator with Western countries fronted by Britain and the United States imposing targeted and travel sanctions on Mugabe and his close associates.

The Bishops said unless the government acted decisively to deal with corruption, Zimbabwe remained at risk. The country is going through a debilitating economic crisis with most Zimbabweans struggling to make ends meet.

“We are part of this global culture of selfishness. We have to admit that the levels of selfishness and the desire to accumulate personal wealth by any means, exist among us and we note the absence of decisive action to halt corruption.

“Corruption will not end unless and until culprits are brought to book. Private companies, parastatals, government and non-government institutions have faltered or collapsed when some people creamed off the assets for their private use,” added the letter adding that citizens seem to have accepted the abnormal.

“Lying and deceit have become tools for survival and this has the knock-on effect of further impoverishing those on the margins of our society. Orders have been obeyed without asking whether they are good or evil. All this has happened because of not listening to conscience, the voice of God within”.

The ZCBC said without effective action to curb corruption and without freedom from the desire for more at all costs, the realisation of the common good will continue to be a vague wish.


  • comment-avatar
    Pakukutu 7 years ago

    I am Pentecoastal but I have always applauded the bravery of the Catholic Church. The Pentecoastal churches, which are now bigger in numbers, should do more to fight tyranny.

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    feared by zanupf 7 years ago

    Are these bishops implying that mugabeland is better run than thriving Rhodesia ? Just stick to Mugabe’s criminality

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    just saying 7 years ago

    ‘Mugabe has been accused of being a brutal dictator with Western countries fronted by Britain and the United States imposing targeted and travel sanctions on Mugabe and his close associates’. This is not an accusation Mr Writer it is a fact. Never mind the western countries we the people as victims of this dictatorship say so!!

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    So plucky of the Bishops,i wish this despot wasn’t allowed membership of the Catholic Church in anyhow coz of his animalistic behaviours towards his people ever-since.

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      Straight Shooter 7 years ago

      One wonders why the Pope never drives sense into his disciple gukurahundi’s mind whenever he visits him at the Vatican?

      Maybe those who say the Catholic Church is a Church for Sinners are correct after all. What with reported sex scandals by the Nuns and Bishops in this so-called Church of God!!

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    Typical of the Catholic Church – TOO LITTLE TOO LATE !!!! Why has the Pope never spoken out against this evil tyrant. In fact why has the World Council of Churches never spoken out???

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    Mlimo 7 years ago

    Why does the Catholic Church let Mugabe attend their ceremonies? This is the pot calling the kettle black. Smith was way better than mugabe

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    Catholics – the pope reckons 2 per cent of all priests are paedophiles – be careful of this lot at all times

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    The true church is NOT a building or an organisation. RGM can park his bothazel in a pew every Sunday: that in itself will never give him the character of Christ. We can see by the fruit he produces where he comes from.The catholic church does not have to think of excommunication. Bob is going that all by himself with judgment day looming. He should be swotting for his finals not destroying a nation and spewing hatred and bitterness. I would strongly recommend repentance! For without true repentance not one of us will enter the kingdom of heaven.

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    Tongoona 7 years ago

    Yes Mugabe emulates the whites because all he is came from the whites. He got free education including his degrees free from the whites. Now he hates whites because they are blocking him from stealing our wealth.

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    Straight Shooter 7 years ago

    You know what; citizens generally do not mind the type of government they have as long as it delivers on the economic front.

    Yes they will fight for human rights, but the economy is always central to everything. When things are good economically, people tend to be cowed away from matters concerning human rights. However, if they get neither, then you have a big problem.

    How many people would say China is a brutal one-party state? Like wise, Ian Smith’s government was largely a brutal one-party state, but he still managed to keep most whites on his side because he delivered for them on the economic front.

    Had he not discriminated against blacks and delivered to them equally, the nationalist movement would have probably never succeded, as evidenced by the many black soldiers who fought on the side of the Rhodesian army.

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    Mukanya 7 years ago

    Pentecostal churches are the regime praise singers, whereas, within the Catholic realm they are about 4 or 5 prelates who are hench-dogs of the regime. No need to mention names here.

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    Tjingababili 7 years ago