Visit of Archbishop Pius Ncube, Archbishop of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe to Scotland.
Archbishop Pius Ncube of Zimbabwe arrives in Edinburgh on Thursday 19 May 2005, staying overnight before travelling to Culzean Castle in Ayrshire to take part in a humanitarian awards ceremony. Archbishop Ncube is one of the five finalists who are being considered as the recipient of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award at the ceremony on Friday 20 May.
Archbishop Ncube is an outspoken critic of Zimbabwe s President, Robert Mugabe and the regime in his country. His phones have been tapped, he has received numerous death threats, and his life is constantly in danger.
The Archbishop will be staying with Cardinal O'Brien on Friday after the event at Culzean Castle and he will be available to address a gathering of Scots and Zimbabweans living in Scotland on Saturday 21 May 2005 from 5.00 pm until 7.00 pm at the Gillis Centre (Offices of the Archdiocese of St Andrew's and Edinburgh, 100 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh), where he will discuss the situation ion his country and answer questions.
The Archbishop departs for Zimbabwe on the morning of Sunday 22 May 2005.
Welcoming Archbishop Ncube to Scotland, Cardinal Keith O'Brien said;
"It is a pleasure to welcome Archbishop Ncube to our country his courageous campaigning for human rights and respect for human dignity in his own country in the face of intolerable intimidation is indeed inspiring."
Cardinal O'Brien added
"he would certainly be a deserving recipient of the " Robert Burns Humanitarian Award" and I wish him good luck for the ceremony which I will attend with him tomorrow"
Archbishop Ncube has been described by Human Rights First as " a shining light in the fight for human rights", the leader of Zimbabwe s embattled human rights movement received a 2003 Human Rights Award at Human Rights First dinner on October 23. As an outspoken critic of the Robert Mugabe government, the Archbishop has been slandered, and lives under constant threat to his personal safety. Despite this, the Archbishop continues to be a shining light in the fight for human rights “ demanding that his government address the mounting food and economic crises and put an end to torture and rape.
The Archbishop called for increased international pressure to dismantle the National Youth Service Training Programme created in 2001, which the report said was in reality "a paramilitary training programme for Zimbabwe's youth with the clear aim of inculcating blatantly antidemocratic, racist and xenophobic attitudes. The youth militias so created are used as instruments of the ruling party, to maintain their hold on power by whatever means necessary, including torture, rape, murder and arson."
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You are invited to send a reporter/photographer/camera crew to the Gillis Centre on Saturday 21 May 2005 from 5.00 pm until 7.00 pm