Saturday, April 21, 2007

Anglican bishops support Mugabe

HARARE, Zimbabwe – African Anglican bishops have issued a message to Zimbabweans that was broadly supportive of the government, sharply contrasting with an earlier call from Catholic leaders for President Robert Mugabe to step down.

An Anglican pastoral letter released to coincide with this week's independence celebrations acknowledged Zimbabwe's economic crisis “rendered the ordinary Zimbabwean unable to make ends meet.”

The 14 Anglican bishops blamed the worsening plight of poor Zimbabweans largely on Western economic sanctions.

“So-called targeted sanctions aimed at the leadership of the country have affected the poor Zimbabweans who have borne the brunt of sanctions,” the bishops said after a meeting of the central African Episcopal Synod.

Western governments dispute that claim, arguing targeted sanctions on Zimbabwean assets abroad and travel restrictions only affect rulers and policymakers....

Investment and foreign loans to Zimbabwe have dried up in six years of political and economic turmoil following the often-violent seizures of thousands of white-owned farms that began in 2000....

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