Mugabe’s Death: Catholic bishops ponder on his legacy and the remedies to the current crisis

By Tafadzwa Muranganwa

The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC) has issued a pastoral statement reflecting on the legacy of the former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe and the current status quo.

The statement dubbed ‘The End Does Not Justify The Means’ acknowledges some of the positive attributes  of the  former Zanu (PF) leader but also points out some of the flaws of the late founding leader of the country.

“ We, the Bishops of the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe, agree with most of these attributes but they also raise a key question, ‘What went wrong?’, the intentions and the objectives were good but the manner of achieving them raised a number of ethical questions. This is where we, as a country, went wrong and continue to go wrong to this day,” said the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference in their statement.

The religious organisation whose mother church, Roman Catholic, Mugabe belonged to also weighed in the need for dialogue to solve the ongoing political, social and economic malaise in the country which churches are ready to mediate over.

“We believe engagement and dialogue will bring about the desired transformation of our nation

“Zimbabwe needs a broad inclusive dialogue to resolve its historical contentious issues and the churches are prepared to mediate as impartial and honest brokers”.

The ZCBC says it  is deeply concerned with the recent reports of abductions by state suspected agents and  condemned the impunity on perpetrators.

“We are deeply concerned about the reported nocturnal visits by unknown masked men, beatings, torture, sexual assaults, abductions, harassment of dissenting voices and violent repression of demonstrations by Police.

“Such acts contradict the positive narrative of Zimbabwe’s Second Republic, have no place in a democratic society and there should be no impunity for those who commit these crimes,” it added.

According to  ZCBC there is the need to redress the issue of land which resulted in the country attracting sanctions.

“One wonders for how long our land must remain in dispute.

“Sanctions were mainly imposed because of the fast-track land reforms that were done in Zimbabwe,” believes the religious organisation.

The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference was critical of the former president Robert Mugabe’s administration regardles of the fact that the Zanu leader was a Catholic himself.At one time Mugabe responded to Catholic bishop’s  sharp criticism of his administration’s undemocratic tendencies by labelling them a ‘band of Jeremiahs”

The veteran leader died at the age of 95 after a lengthy stay at a hospital in Singapore on Friday last week and his remains arrived in the country on Wednesday afternoon accompanies by his widow Grace and family as well as a government delegation led by Vice-President Kembo Mohadi.Where he  will be buried still remains a mystery as family members and government officials seem to be haggling where his remains  will be interred.Even President Emmerson Mnangagwa welcome address at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare did not shed a hint as to where, on Sunday the late leader will be buried.