Archbishop of York ends Mugabe collar protest
The Archbishop of York has resumed wearing a clerical dog collar. He cut his old collar on live TV in 2007 saying he would not wear one again until Robert Mugabe stepped down.
Ugandan-born Dr John Sentamu, returned to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show to be handed back its remains.
Instead the 68-year-old produced a new one from his pocket and put it around his neck.
It follows speculation about whether he would put the collar back on, given that Mugabe left power after a coup.
Dr Sentamu, who said a South African-style truth and reconciliation process was needed. He added: ‘I actually think the lesson for Zimbabwe is the same — you just can’t try and stitch it up.’
The Archbishop said Zimbabwe’s new president Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former ally of Mr Mugabe, should not attempt to ‘bury the past’ and his role in it.
‘I’m a man of faith, a strong believer in hope and a strong believer that people can change so it’s quite possible that Emmerson Mnangagwa could actually be a very good president.
‘But he can’t simply bury the past, it won’t go away.’ Asked if 93-year-old Mr Mugabe should be forgiven, he said: ‘Mugabe at some point needs to say to the people of Zimbabwe: 37 years (ago) I took on a country which was fantastic, I nearly took it to ruin, Zimbabweans forgive me.’
Some Zimbabweans have not taken lightly to his protest, citing that the Archbishop’s protest was ineffectual to ordinary Zimbabweans’ lives. Tapiwa Madziwa tweeted: ‘Those 10 years he did not wear his collar did not bring any significant change to ordinary Zimbabweans’.
Another Zimbabwean said: ‘But the absence of his collar [sic] was a constant reminder that something was wrong and prayers were therefore needed. I think that’s significant.’