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Mnangagwa abhors cultural erosion

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BY VANESSA GONYE

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday lamented the effects of globalisation on Zimbabwe, saying they were overwhelming local cultures and threatening the lives of youths who were now resorting to drugs and violent gun-related crimes.

He said this during the burial of the late Roman Catholic cleric, Father Emmanuel Ribeiro (86) at the National Heroes Acre. He described Ribeiro as an esteemed, heroic religious leader who fought to instil the philosophy of hunhu/ubuntu in order for the country to build a morally upright and prosperous nation.

Ribeiro, renowned for his role in fighting the death penalty imposed on freedom fighters by the Rhodesian regime during the liberation struggle, died last week after a short illness.

The late priest saved Mnangagwa and several other freedom fighters from the hangman’s noose.  He assisted the late former President Robert Mugabe and Edgar Tekere to skip into Mozambique in 1975, evading the Rhodesian Forces.

“When we face countless social ills, some of which can be attributed to the impact of globalisation, these threaten to flatten and overwhelm local cultures. Unbecoming trends such as the alarming entry of destructive drugs into our jurisdiction, threaten the fate of our youths. This is also what we learn from the late Father Ribeiro,” he said.

“There is need, therefore, to redouble our collective fight against this new phenomenon of drug and other harmful substance abuse. In the same vein, gun-related crimes will not be tolerated,” Mnangagwa said.

He said law enforcement agents should work with the Judiciary to ensure that perpetrators of gun-related crimes, violent drug kingpins, and vendors are brought to book.

“The late Father Ribeiro was a clean man who hated corruption,” he said.

The burial service, which was conducted by the Vicar-General of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Harare, Father Kennedy Muguti, was also attended by the Archbishop of Harare Robert Ndlovu, a few priests and government officials due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Muguti described Ribeiro as a renowned musician who composed 17 Catholic songs, an author and influencer in church liturgical issues.

He was instrumental in the design of the national flag, and was part of the committee that came up with the national anthem.

  • Follow Vanessa on Twitter @vanessa_gonye

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