Harare, 20 August, 2020 / 11:25 pm (ACI Africa).
Catholic Bishops in nine Southern African countries have rallied behind their counterparts in Zimbabwe who have come under attack from the country’s political leadership over their recent Pastoral Letter in which they called on the government to address economic and political challenges bedeviling the country.
In the Thursday, August 20 statement obtained by ACI Africa, members of the Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA) express their “deepest regret and disappointment” over the government’s utterances against Catholic Bishops.
“The Inter-Regional Meeting of Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA) wishes to express its support and solidarity with the Bishops of Zimbabwe On the Pastoral Letter titled, ‘The March has not ended’ issued on the 14th August 2020,” IMBISA members say in their August 20 statement.
“At the same time, we wish to express our deepest regret and disappointment with the response of the Government of Zimbabwe which, instead of dealing with the contents of the Pastoral Letter, sought to attack our brothers, the Bishops of Zimbabwe,” they add in their collective statement signed by IMBISA President, Bishop Lucio Muandula.
Members of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC) have come under attack from the country’s leadership after they issued a strongly worded letter challenging President Emmerson Mnangagwa-led government to address Zimbabwe’s multiple crises, including human rights abuses in cracking down on critics, corruption, and a collapsed economy.