YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon – After a week seeing the military sideline President Robert Mugabe, the Catholic bishops in Zimbabwe say they are concerned about the future of the country, and have called on all the stakeholders, particularly the future leadership, to think about the best interests of the country.
On Wednesday, the country’s military took over power and kept the country’s 93-year-old president under house arrest.
On Saturday, thousands took to the streets to demand the resignation of Mugabe – a demand that could end his 37-year old rule over the southern African country.
On Sunday, the top brass of the ruling ZANU-PF party sacked Mugabe as the party’s leader, and appointed his vice president, Emerson Mnangagwa – the man Mugabe sacked two weeks ago to clear the way for his wife, Grace, to succeed him as president.
Now, the ZANU-PF has given the president until mid-day Monday to resign or face impeachment.
“We, your Shepherds, encourage those central to these delicate processes (particularly the Zimbabwe Defense Forces and the political leadership) that they maintain the best interests of the nation as a priority and continue to work tirelessly for a peaceful end to the crisis and to speedy return to normalcy and Constitutional order,” the bishops wrote in a Pastoral letter on Sunday.
“Let us be mindful of the fact that besides those who took action and those involved in the ongoing delicate process, the entire population is concerned about the process as well as the future of the country,” they continued.
The bishops’ statement said “a sustainable normalization of Zimbabwe can only be achieved through a people inclusive and participatory process in a democratic way. The governance of Zimbabwe in any transition that may be adopted must embrace all Zimbabweans in their diversity and their oneness. The nation needs to develop a culture of free and fair elections, referenda and consultations.”
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