AFRICA/ZIMBABWE - Mugabe reappears in public; Christian leaders call for a government of national unity

Friday, 17 November 2017 coup   dialogue   local churches  

Harare (Agenzia Fides) - "The hope of a real change is fading between the people of the Country, because President Mugabe seems does not want to give up power", say sources of the local Church in Harare, capital of Zimbabwe, to Agenzia Fides, where President Robert Mugabe reappeared in public on November 17.
The army, which at the dawn of November 15 took control of the presidential palace and strategic points of the Country, continues to carry out arrests of Mugabe's entourage. "We are talking of several arrests including the chief of police" confirm our sources. "At this point, it seems true what the military said who do not want to overthrow Mugabe, but to stop what they defined "the criminals who surround him" (see Fides 15/11/2017).
"However, there is still uncertainty and the much-anticipated changes in the population are linked to the clashes within Mugabe’s party, the ZANU-PF", comment Fides sources. Yesterday, November 16, a negotiation took place between Mugabe, Chief of the Armed Forces, General Chiwenga, in the presence of a South African delegation led by Defense Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, and Jesuit father, Fidelis Mukonori, who is an old friend of the President of Zimbabwe. The details of the meeting have not been disclosed.
Meanwhile, Emmerson Mnangagwa, former Vice President, who had been fired by Mugabe last week has returned home. Victim in August of a presumed poisoning, Mnangagwa clashed with the ZANU-PF faction tied to Mugabe's wife, Grace. The crisis that saw the army apparently deployed with Mnangagwa was commented by the main Christian confessions of Zimbabwe in a joint statement sent to Agenzia Fides.
"Changes have been rapid in recent days, but the deterioration of the situation has existed for a long time, especially during the public gatherings of the ruling party, as well as the worsening of the socio-economic situation", reads the document signed by Zimbabwe's Heads Of Christian Denominations. Christian religious leaders say that it was clear that "exclusive politics, the growing use of ethnic identities that dominate public speeches, especially in political events and the media, further fragmented and threatened the already weak cohesion of our society" .
The confusion that emerged between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the State, and between the government and Mugabe’s party, according to Christian leaders, is the symptom of "a profound evil that has hit the nation for a long time".
Christian communities invite everyone to prayer and call for the creation of a government of national unity, the preconditions of dialogue between all the social and political components to bring the country out of political and institutional stalemate. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 17/11/2017)