Southern Africas Anglican archbishop rebuffed on Zimbabwe proposal

Posted: Friday, March 21, 2003

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, the leader of Anglican churches in South Africa and four neighboring nations, announced a new effort to restart dialogue toward a political settlement in troubled Zimbabwe.

But the state-run Herald newspaper accused Ndungane of bias against the regime, and said the so-called political and human rights crisis only exists in the eyes of the opposition and its legion of clerics.''

The opposition accuses the government of stifling its activities through violence, police torture, intimidation and stringent security and media laws. At least 300 people, including clerics on a peace march, have been arrested over banned demonstrations.

A month of talks between Robert Mugabe's ruling party and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change collapsed in acrimony over human rights violations and curbs on democratic rights. Plans for nationwide protests were then announced.

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