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African bishops express grave concern over Zimbabwe

Catholic World News - February 23, 2011

The bishops of eight southern African nations are expressing grave concern over the economic and political situation in Zimbabwe.

“Despite some improvements in the country we note that the ordinary citizens of Zimbabwe continue to suffer from, amongst other things: extreme poverty; high levels of unemployment; inadequate health and education services; lack of investment and confidence in the economy of the country,” the bishops stated. “This is all the more tragic – and indeed a matter of grave injustice – when we consider the wealth of the country with respect both to its human and its material resources.”

“The nation is extremely fearful.,” the bishops added. “There are increasing signs of intimidation and/or violence as the election campaign builds up. 46 people have been arrested while watching the transmission of the protests in Tunisia and Egypt, accused of preparing to ‘subvert a legitimate government.’”

Robert Mugabe, now 87, has ruled the nation since its independence from the United Kingdom in 1980. 10% of the nation’s 15.7 million people are Catholic, according to Vatican statistics.

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