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President Mugabe and wife in Vatican during Pope Francis's Installation 
as  Head of the Roman Catholic Church in 2013

Africa's oldest dictator in power President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe might soon receive a stroke from Vatican, after an anti-Mugabe Pastor Patrick Mugadza sent a petition to the Pope, through the Catholic Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature in Zimbabwe Rev. Fr. Gabriel Pesce.

In his letter, the pastor pleaded with Pope Francis to excommunicate President Robert Mugabe over the"inhuman treatment" on Zimbabweans, protesting against his rule.

Father Pesce said Mugadza's petition was the first of its kind from a non-Catholic individual.
In the appeal, Mugadza said Zimbabweans were now being "subjected to unimaginable levels of poverty" under President Mugabe's rule.
The Zanu PF leader has refused to retire and plans to seek another five-year mandate at the next elections in 2018 when he would be 94 years old.
But Pastor Mugadza said Mugabe was now "too old to run the country effectively".
"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," reads the petition.
"The president tells us that he is a practising Catholic, hence we are petitioning you to help our nation before he fulfils his promise of crushing anyone who dares to speak sense".
"We so very much, Your Holiness, beg for your intervention. We are so very much aware of how you are so compassionate about the oppressed and suffering."
The pastor said the Catholic church has "detailed records of what President Mugabe has done to the nation", referring to a report by the church on the 1980s Gukurahundi campaign which is said to have killed 20,000 civilians.
"According to Romans 13:4 a leader is a representative of God here on earth but, according to the given account there is no proof of godly representation in his (Mugabe's) leadership," Mugadza added.
"The Catholic church has been one of the many churches which have been very vocal about the President's way of running the country but they have never taken this bold step to have him ex-communicated".
"I strongly believe that if they take heed of this petition, then the Pope will do the right thing because Zimbabwe is going through a difficult time."
President Mugabe, a devout Catholic, has in recent months forcibly crushed protests by activists and the opposition who are demanding his resignation over a worsening economic crisis which has seen the collapse of industries, leaving the majority of the adult population unemployed.
The veteran leader, now aged 92, has been in power since independence in 1980. He denies responsibility for Zimbabwe's problems, blaming instead western countries he accuses of plotting his ouster in order to recolonise the country.


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Henriette Nshan Tem

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