Anglican Calls for Calm as Zimbabwe Nears Economic Collapse

MUTARE, Zimbabwe, MAY 9, 2002 (Zenit.org).- With Zimbabwe nearing economic collapse, Anglican Bishop Sebastian Bakare of Manicaland appealed for calm and expressed concern for the suffering citizenry.

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The bishop criticized those who, even when seeing «the weeping caused by the pain of the violence suffered, do not condemn the abuses or, worse yet, deny them,» the Misna missionary agency reported.

Opposition leaders assailed the decision by Robert Mugabe´s government to confirm the results of the controversial March elections.

Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said he will call a general strike if Mugabe does not hold new elections, a threat the Zimbabwean president seems to have shrugged off.

A political protest by the ZCTU workers union 10 days after the elections met with little popular support. Most Zimbabweans seem to be more concerned about basic survival.

This country of 11.3 million struggles with drought and the effects of a disastrous land-reform program under which so-called war veterans seized the property of some whites.

The unemployment rate is 70%, inflation 113%. The nation has $4.5 billion in foreign debt, and is $118 million behind in payments to the International Monetary Fund.

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