Harare – A Zimbabwean Pastor, Patrick Mugadza, of the #MugabeMustFall campaign has reportedly petitioned the head of the Catholic Church Pope Francis, asking him to “ex-communicate President Robert Mugabe” whom he accused of violating human rights.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, the anti-Mugabe cleric handed the petition to the Catholic Church’s secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature in Zimbabwe, Father Gabriel Pesce in Harare.
Pesce claimed that the petition was the first of its kind from a non-Catholic individual.
In the petition, Mugadza wrote that the pope should “excommunicate Mugabe”. He accused Mugabe of presiding over a government that “has caused unimaginable levels of poverty” in the southern African nation.
Mugadza further said that the veteran leader had refused to leave office “despite his advance age of 92-years”.
“We, of the above mentioned nation hereby hand you this petition asking you to excommunicate the president of the Republic of Zimbabwe Robert Gabriel Mugabe. The president tells us that he is a practicing catholic; hence we are petitioning you to help our nation before he fulfills his promise of crushing anyone who dares to speak sense,” parts of the petition reportedly read.
Zimbabwe has, in recent months, been hit by a wave of protests, as Zimbabweans demanded that the government act on the ongoing economic hardships, as well as rapid corruption.
Street protests, national work boycotts and internet activism were part of the ongoing rejection of Mugabe’s rule.
However, Mugabe’s government has responded by implementing tougher measures aimed at curbing what it described as “foreign sponsored protests”.
According to NewsDay, Mugadza further said that the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe had produced a damning report on the ongoing human right violations in the southern African country.
“I believe what has been mentioned here and more of what your research will show is going to cause your heart to break and do the right thing. To us silence, Your Holiness, is sentencing us to more oppression,” Mugadza was quoted as saying on his petition.