Rowan Williams, the leader of the world’s Anglicans, has requested to meet Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe during his forthcoming visit to southeast Africa, his office said on Monday.
Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is making a pastoral visit to Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia from October 5 to 13.
He will become the most senior public figure from Britain to visit Zimbabwe in a decade and could meet Mugabe as part of the trip.
“There has been an approach to meet with him but nothing has been confirmed,” a Lambeth Palace spokesperson said.
Mugabe (87) who has been president since 1987, routinely blames former colonial power Britain for Zimbabwe’s ills.
Zimbabwe’s Anglican Church has been divided since 2007 when Nolbert Kunonga, the former bishop of Harare, split from the Anglican province of central Africa citing opposition to the ordination of gay priests.
Kunonga has since declared himself archbishop of Harare and has seized church property including the cathedral.
Williams wrote an open letter to Mugabe earlier this year urging him to stop the persecution of Anglicans.
He said he was “deeply distressed” to hear of bullying, harassment, and persecution of Anglicans who supported the official Church in the diocese of Harare and further afield.
Lambeth Palace said the purpose of Williams’ visit was to meet with bishops, clergy and parishioners and to celebrate the life and ministry of the Anglican Church in the church’s central Africa province.
“Doctor Williams will preach at a special service of celebration for the 150th anniversary of the Anglican Church in Malawi,” it said.
He is to “visit local church initiatives in all three countries — including an agricultural project, an HIV initiative as well as other community schemes set up to help vulnerable groups in local communities”. — AFP
The Zimbabwean government has threatened to shut down under-resourced universities saying the institutions are compromising education standards.
Zimbabwe has nine state run universities and four church administered institutions.
Permanent secretary in the ministry of Higher Education and Tertiary, Washington Mbizvo said institutions with critical shortage of lecturers would be closed.
Mbizvo said there was no reason for universities with no adequate human recourses to continue operating as “they will not produce quality graduates.”
Although most state universities are under-funded, government has in the past said it plans to establish more universities.
Recently, Mbizvo’s ministry suspended PHD programmes at the National Science and Technology and veterinary studies offered by the oldest higher leaning institute, the University of Zimbabwe (UZ).
The decade long economic crisis in Zimbabwe resulted in a massive brain drain that affected the main universities with some having less than half of its required staff .
Because of the shortage of lecturers, universities are forced to enroll fewer students or close faculties.
Faculties that are most affected by the shortage of lecturers included metallurgical engineering, mining engineering, biochemistry and pharmaceutical technology.
UZ Vice-chancellor Levy Nyagura recently told a parliamentary committee on education that the institution was resorting to hiring expatriate lecturers and former staff members who have joined other sectors to work part-time.
Many professionals have left the country to seek better-paying jobs in neighbouring South Africa and overseas because of the economic problems.
Those left behind often resort to part-time jobs to supplement their salaries.
A vast transfrontier park of almost 450 000 square kilometres, stretching over five Southern African countries and connecting 36 national parks and other managed areas, has been signed into being.The biggest conservation effort ever, it includes some of the most breathtaking protected areas on the planet, and will stretch over parts of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.Once fully operational it will be roughly the size of Sweden.The Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area was legally established on the last day of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) conference held in Luanda, Angola, in August 2011. The signing followed a feasibility study initiated by the five participants in 2006.The implementation of the conservancy is overseen by the Peace Parks Foundation, with the help of integrated development plans (IDPs) to ensure that the process unfolds smoothly. Zimbabwe and Zambia have completed their IDPs, while Angola’s is nearing completion.IDPs for Namibia and Botswana will get underway before the end of 2011.“It’s the largest protected tourism zone in the world,” an official from the 15-nation SADC announced at the time of signing the deal.
“I wanted to suggest by this that the entire region and the way its parts interact is full of complexities and contradictions. So that Nelson Mandela is not a saint, but a skiving , jazz-freak student radical, lately given to wearing stupid shirts; so that Thabo Mbeki did not fail by simply lack of efforts in his ‘quiet diplomacy’ with Robert Mugabe, but was driven by complex and highly learned patterns of reasoning; so that Robert Mugabe himself did not become a tyrant because of a love of tyranny, but lost himself in the contradictions of his convictions until his stubborness became malignant and finally malevolent; so that Jacob Zuma did not gain the leadership of the ANC by sheer vulgar populism , but by harnessing an unlikely allience of brilliant political and business minds who helped him for the sake of their revenge. The ambition of this book is to endow what the Western media has turned into black caricatures with the same sort of life we would automatically assume was inherent in Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Nick Clegg, George Bush, Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy. It was also to repay some debt to a region that helped form me”
# Earlier today , I bought this book. I chuckled when I read these sentences of the book’s introduction but I can already tell that this is going to be a good read.