Mugabe to attend beatification

bob2HARARE President Robert Mugabe (pictured) is going all the way to Rome beatification of Pope John Paul II, but is engaged in a war of words with Catholic bishops at home because they dare to criticise his abuse of human rights.

His presence is likely to cause some consternation among Vatican officials as his regime has been repeatedly criticized by the bishops for corruption, mismanagement, and violations of human rights.

Mugabe recently accused the bishops of lying about the nation’s dire social and economic situation.

“The utterances show that he no longer cares about relations with the

bishops who have been bold enough to stand up to him,” Lovemore Madhuku, a

political commentator from the University of Zimbabwe told ENInews.

“[Mugabe] knows it’s almost impossible to get the mainstream churches to

follow him,” Madhuku added.

“There are other so-called bishops who fall under what is called the

bishops’ conference who are always telling lies, no truth at all,” Mugabe

said at the opening of a conference hall for the Zion Christian Church. He praised the

leaders of the sect while attacking his critics.

After falling out with the mainstream church, Mugabe has sought the support

of apostolic sects. Last year he attended an annual pilgrimage of one of the

sects and appeared in pictures wearing the church’s white robes and wooden

rod. On that occasion he railed against gays and lesbians and urged the

adherents to oppose rights groups seeking to have gay rights in Zimbabwe’s

new constitution.

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