‘Only God can remove me from power’

HARARE - Robert Mugabe made the above statement to justify his stubborn refusal to accept the results of democratic elections. Mugabe who likes to be known as 'a devout Catholic' goes completely against the teaching of the Catholic Church and the Church's positive attitude towards democracy.

‘The Church values the democratic system inasmuch as it ensures the participation of citizens in making political choices, guarantees to the governed the possibility both of electing and holding accountable those who govern them, and of replacing them through peaceful means when appropriate.’ (John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, n. 46).

The tyrant seems to imply that he has been put into his position of power by God and that he rules with divine support. He is ‘using the name of God in vain’. This is blasphemous.

It is the people who put one of their number in a position to lead them, and it is the people who remove him. They do so in the name of their God-given freedom.

In traditional thinking the leader needs to respect the people. ‘Ushe hauzvitongi’ (Chieftainship cannot rule itself). ‘Ushe varanda’ (Chieftainship depends on the subjects).

It is time for Zimbabwe’s ruler to accept the will of the people who must be respected as God’s sons and daughters.  – Comment, Jesuit Communications

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