Attacks will not deter me’ – Ncube

OUTSPOKEN Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube says he will not be deterred by attacks from the state media and other quarters in his fight against human rights in the country.



a, sans-serif”>Ncube was responding to a salvo fired by state radio and newspapers after he was chosen, together with South Africa’s Desmond Tutu, as patron of two aid funds set up to raise money for human rights-related lawsuits and legal reform campaigns in Zimbabwe.

“The attacks by the state media will not deter me,” said Ncube. “Why should they attack me and skirt real issues affecting the country when the issues are clear? We need good governance and we do not want to be abused by a dictator,” Ncube said.

He said he was glad to become patron of the two aid funds but was saddened by the suffering of Zimbabwean people.

“There is low morale in all sections of the population and that is a big concern as people are not employed and we have serious starvation but the government wants us to believe that people are only dying of Aids,” he said.

The two funds were launched on Tuesday last week at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

The funds – the Zimbabwe Defence and Aid Fund and the Zimbabwe Aid Foundation – aim to support those who have become victims of illegal detentions or malicious prosecutions.

“I feel honoured to work with Desmond Tutu. I have great respect for him for his unwavering fight for human rights in his country and the world in general. He is a great man,” he said.

Speaking after the launch of the two funds last week, Tutu, a vocal critic of Mugabe’s government, said the world couldn’t stand by and watch a tragedy unfold “without becoming complicit through apathy”.

He said a similar fund, supported by the international community, saved a lot of people in South Africa from the gallows, including the country’s first black president, Nelson Mandela. – Staff Writer.