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Breakthrough as Zimbabwe pastors meet Anglican leader over sanctions

by Mandla Ndlovu
08 Nov 2021 at 19:54hrs | Views
A delegation of Zimbabwean clerics organized as the Zimbabwe churches' sanctions relief initiative (ZICSRI) on Monday held a meeting with Anglican's global leader met the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, to discuss the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by America, United Kingdom and their Western allies.

In a statement issued n Twitter, Presidential Spokesperson George Charamba said the clerics lobbied the primate of all of England (first Bishop of England) to take a stand against the illegal sanctions which have wreaked havoc in Zimbabwe, including within the country's community of faithfuls, a good part of whom are Anglicans.

They also requested the archbishop to deliver their petition to the British government which, upon leaving the European Union, domesticated the raft of EU's sanctions against Zimbabwe.

The Institute for Democracy in Africa (IDASA) is on record saying any review of restrictive measures must involve assessing the impact of the measures and the consequences of future options, namely: continuing the current scheme; a temporary lift; or an unconditional removal of the measures.

Read Charamba's statement below:

A delegation of eight Zimbabwean clerics who recently accompanied His Excellency the President ED Mnangagwa, to Glasgow, United Kingdom, today met the Archbishop of Canterbury, the most reverend Justin Welby, to make a case against illegal western sanctions on Zimbabwe which have been stymying Zimbabwe's normal, interactive development since 2000.

The most reverend Justin Welby is the 105th head of the Church of England and, by extension, of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Anglican church is the church of the state of England, and symbolises its conscience and worldwide reach on matters of faith. It is believed that Zimbabwean clerics, organised as the Zimbabwe churches' sanctions relief initiative (ZICSRI), lobbied the primate of all of England (first Bishop of England) to take a stand against the illegal sanctions which have wreaked havoc in Zimbabwe, including within the country's community of faithfuls, a good part of whom are Anglicans.

They also requested the archbishop to deliver their petition to the British government which, upon leaving the European Union, domesticated the raft of EU's sanctions against Zimbabwe. To its credit, the EU has been easing its punitive measures against Zimbabwe, in sharp contrast to the stance of vindictiveness pursued by both London and Washington.

Triggered by Zimbabwe's land reform programme, the legality of the western sanctions have been challenged on grounds that they fall outside the united nations; were declared without granting Zimbabwe the right to be heard and flow directly from a desire in the west to retain land-based privileges of the racist colonial era when settler colonies like Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, Kenya and Algeria suffered massive land alienation from locals in order to support an occupying foreign settler community.

Zimbabwe's war of independence made land alienation a principal grievance behind the decade-and-half armed liberation struggle. Africa has thrown its weight behind the campaign against the illegal, racist sanctions, with 25th October yearly being designated the day against illegal western sanctions.

This year's anti-sanctions commemoration got an extra fillip in that the United Nations human rights commission dispatched a rapporteur to look into the impact of coercive measures against Zimbabwe. The un envoy has since denounced the illegal sanctions in her preliminary report. On the sidelines of cop26 summit in Glasgow, the president took up the issue of the illegal sanctions with many world leaders, and the representative of the pontiff. The Vatican opposes coercive measures as a matter of church doctrine.

Who are the Zimbabwe clerics behind the anti-sanctions initiative? The ZICSRI  represents consensus of clergy, churches and church umbrella bodies in Zimbabwe, and believes illegal sanctions by the west should be removed forthwith and unconditionally to ease undeserved suffering of Zimbabwe's ordinary people, the majority of whom belong to various denominations of the Zimbabwean church. The eight members of the clergy who took the campaign to the head of the church of England are:

1.    Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi, Zion Christian church and patron of Zimbabwe indigenous interdenominational council of churches, ZICSRI
2.    Reverend Andrew Wutawunashe, chairman of ZICSRI;
3.    Father Fidelis Mukonori, roman catholic church, and Zimbabwe elders forum
4.    Reverend Felix Mukonowengwe of harvest time ministries and member of the Zimbabwe elders forum
5.    Elizabeth Karonga, roman catholic church and a member of the Zimbabwe elders forum;
6.    Bishop peter Zvanaka Mukwena, worldwide family of god churches and member of faith of the nation campaign
7.    Bishop Trevor Manhanga, Pentecostal Assemblies of God in Zimbabwe and evangelical fellowship of Zimbabwe, EFZ and
8.    Bishop reverend Dr. Farai Katsande, president of the Zimbabwe Council of pentecostal churches.




Source - Byo24News