'Sex in cathedral bedroom'

HARARE - State media has published photographs said to have been taken by a camera hidden in the bedroom of Zimbabwean Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube, claiming they show the outspoken government critic undressing with a woman.

HARARE - State media has published photographs said to have been taken by a camera hidden in the bedroom of Zimbabwean Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube, claiming they show the outspoken government critic undressing with a woman.

Ncube's lawyer called a civil adultery case filed on Monday against Ncube an "orchestrated attempt" to embarrass him. The lawyer said Ncube would deny the allegations in court.

On Tuesday Ncube's cellphone was switched off, there was no answer at his home and he was not in his office.

Ncube has repeatedly accused President Robert Mugabe of human rights violations and urged Zimbabweans to demonstrate.

The state-run Herald said many explicit pictures were taken by a private investigator hired by the man who filed the adultery suit. It said one of the photos showed Ncube, 61, and the man's wife, Rosemary Sibanda, 44, a secretary at his cathedral in Bulawayo, naked.

The archbishop was also photographed "in the act with several other women in the supposedly holy bedroom", it said.

The government-controlled Bulawayo Chronicle printed other photographs, along with a front-page warning that they were not suitable for those under the age of 18.

Ncube spoke to journalists at his St Mary's Cathedral on Monday.

"We all have weaknesses. That's why when we pray we always ask God for forgiveness," he said.

He went on: "I will not answer this question concerning my private life. Yes, I did take a vow."

The Vatican embassy in Harare refused to comment on Tuesday.

Sibanda's demand for damages, at R9million, is one of the highest in the nation's legal history.

Rosemary Sibanda said she was separated from her husband when she began the alleged affair with Ncube two years ago and she hoped he would help pay her rent and buy food.

Earlier this month, Mugabe accused Ncube and other church leaders of "peddling falsehoods about Zimbabwe's governance".

"Where is the godliness? Don't listen to what they say . One cannot tell the difference between a bishop and a layman anymore. Some of them have sworn to celibacy but they sleep around," Mugabe told supporters. - Sapa-AP

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