The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu has worn his dog dog collar for the first time in almost 10 years, now Robert Mugabe’s rule has come to an end.
According to Metro UK, Dr Sentamu cut his old collar up on live TV in 2007 in protest at abuses in Zimbabwe, saying he would not wear one again until the president stepped down.
It follows speculation about whether he would put the collar back on, given that Mugabe left power after a coup rather than in the free elections he said he would prefer.
Dr Sentamu said a South African-style truth and reconciliation process was needed to heal Zimbabwe’s divisions following the end of Mr Mugabe’s 37-year rule.
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.
‘He needs similar to what South Africa did – a truth, justice and reconciliation commission to look into it so that this doesn’t hang over him like a big cloud.
‘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.’
The Ugandan-born Archbishop returned to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show to be handed back the remains of the item.
Instead of attempting to reassemble the old collar he produced a new one from his pocket and put it around his neck.
‘I actually think the lesson for Zimbabwe is the same – you just can’t try and stitch it up, something more radical, something new needs to happen in terms of the rule of law, allowing people to get jobs – because 90% of people aren’t in work.
‘You can’t just stitch it up, I need a new collar.’
Dr Sentamu said a voice had told him to ‘light a candle’ in the days leading up to Mr Mugabe’s downfall.
The first burned out on November 14 as the military takeover began, while a second lasted until November 21 – the day of Mr Mugabe’s resignation.
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