Clergy arrested

Published April 1, 2003


Anglican clerics were among 21 church leaders arrested in Zimbabwe Feb. 28 when they tried to deliver a petition protesting abuse of police power.

The group carried three big wooden crosses and walked through the streets of Harare to police headquarters to deliver its petition. The petition urged the police to perform their duties with respect for the church and all citizens of Zimbabwe.

The group was surrounded by police officers in riot gear who sang, “It’s a long time since you’ve been beaten” in Shona, and banged batons on their truck before arresting the clerics.

The petition accused the police of violence, alleging that this was a misuse of police power.

“The police cannot cow the church into silence,” said Bishop Trevor Manhanga, president of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, who was arrested two weeks earlier when he tried to speak at a church function.

He added, “The church must be the ears for those who cannot hear, the eyes for those who cannot see and the voice of the voiceless. We are taking up our mandate to call for a stop to this harassment and intimidation.


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