Spurring the moral outrage

Once again, it is almost a certainty that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe will ignore the strongest call to date from Zimbabwe's Roman Catholic bishops - that he resign or face a mass revolt.

Once again, it is almost a certainty that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe will ignore the strongest call to date from Zimbabwe's Roman Catholic bishops - that he resign or face a mass revolt.

What will most likely happen, unfortunately, is that Mugabe will pour the usual scorn on their call and contemptuously advise the bishops to stick to matters ecclesiastical.

Whatever Mugabe's reaction, the Zimbabwe Bishops' Conference's weekend message is significant in exposing the moral pretence that continues to characterise Mugabe's rule, while further confirming his government's pariah status worldwide.

The bishops may have been buoyed by the moral support of Pope Benedict XVI, who singled out the southern African country among other troubled nations at the weekend.

"Zimbabwe is in the grip of a grievous crisis," the pope said in his traditional Easter message.

Elsewhere, the US is working to undermine Mugabe by promoting opposition to the Zanu-PF government.

Galvanising world outrage against Mugabe and his government might well give momentum to efforts to lance the political boil that is the Zimbabwean crisis.

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