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Call to act on Mugabe

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNS): A former director of the Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe has called on the Vatican to excommunicate President Robert Mugabe, saying he is a “murderous dictator”.

In a letter to Archbishop Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, who is president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Mike Auret also criticised the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference for “taking a very weak stand” against President Mugabe’s government.

Me Auret, who joined the commission in 1978 and was director from 1990 until his resignation in September 1999, called President Mugabe “ostentatiously Catholic” and said that, as elections approach, President Mugabe has “employed people calling themselves war veterans and has paid them 20 million Zimbabwe dollars (A$900,000) to carry out a reign of terror in the country.”

Parliamentary elections are scheduled for June 24 and 25.

More than 20 people have been killed since President Mugabe supporters began invading white-owned farms in March.

President Mugabe’s “recent crimes should be sufficient grounds for excommunication”, Mr Auret said, noting that Zimbabwean Catholics “are looking to the Church for some action which will bring the torture of a nation to an end”.

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