Primates call on Mugabe to resign

During their third day of meetings in Alexandria the primates of the Anglican Communion issued a statement on Zimbabwe. An extract:

There appears to be a total disregard for life, consistently demonstrated by Mr Mugabe through systematic kidnap, torture and the killing of Zimbabwean people. The economy of Zimbabwe has collapsed, as evidenced by the use of foreign currencies in an independent state.

We therefore call upon President Robert Mugabe to respect the outcome of the elections of 2008 and to step down. We call for the implementation of the rule of law and the restoration of democratic processes.

We request that the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Chair of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa, in consultation with the Church of the Province of Central Africa, commission a Representative to go to Zimbabwe to exercise a ministry of presence and to show solidarity with the Zimbabwean people. We also request the President of the All Africa Conference of Churches and the Chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa to facilitate a meeting with the African Union president and other African political leaders (especially those of SADC) to highlight the plight of the Zimbabwean peoples.

Read the full statement at ACNS.

A response from Anglican Information (via email):

Anglican-Information observes that the clear statement that the Primates do not recognise the status of Bishops Nolbert Kunonga (Harare) and Elson Jakazi (Manicaland) represents a huge step forward and endorses the heroic work led by Bishop Sebastian Bakare on the part of the Province of Central Africa in attempting to reclaim the dioceses of Harare and Manicaland. We have long chronicled the terrible intimidation and violence on the part of Mugabe backed Nolbert Kunonga and pray that this statement may give heart to those who have been at the receiving end of his atrocities.

Anglican Information says it is an encouraging sign that the Primates have been able to tear themselves away from arguments about sexuality, at least for a while, and find a unity of Anglican Communion purpose. It is ironic that it has taken so much suffering to achieve this.

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