South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu said Zimbabwe has become, ‘a hell on earth, and genuine change could only come to the country at the next election.
The outspoken cleric was speaking at a literary festival in Wales on Thursday, where he talked at length about Zimbabwe. He also expressed optimism that with the right support the country’s national unity government could succeed.
The news agency AFP quotes the Nobel Peace laureate saying: “The situation there has been dire, it’s a horrendous situation and it’s in many ways still an unbelievable country with so much potential.”
Archbishop Tutu questioned how such a beautiful country could be ‘changed into hell on earth’ in such a few short years. He added that the present scenario of a unity government was, ‘the best chance of salvaging and helping Zimbabwe return to her former glory.’
According to the press, the Archbishop said he doubted that Robert Mugabe would ever heed calls to stand down. When a Zimbabwean member of the audience at the Hay-on-Wye Festival asked whether he personally could intervene to persuade Mugabe to stand down, Tutu said: “I doubt he would want to hear from me. I’m that little bitter bishop. I’m sad for his country, but I’m hopeful.”