Now the Archbishop of York, George Sentamu (originally from Uganda), has put himself alongside Gordon Brown's stance by cutting up his dog collar live on the BBC this morning and vowing never to wear one again until Mugabe is removed from power. The Archbishop of York is the third highest ranking figure in the Anglican church after the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Many Africans (and Europeans) see the monster as a man who fought against British rule....
Archbishop of York cuts up his dog collar in astonishing live TV protest at Mugabe
By STEVE DOUGHTY
9th December 2007
Zimbabwe gained its independence from Britain in 1980. Under Britain's rule it was Africa's richest country. Now, under anti-British Mugabe, it's Africa's poorest, with the world's lowest life expectancy and highest inflation
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown refused to attend EU-African Summit as dictator Mugabe attended
The Archbishop of York today cut up his dog collar on live television in a protest over the rule of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.
Dr John Sentamu said he will refuse to wear the clergyman's badge of identity until Mugabe is out of office.
The Archbishop, third in the hierarchy of the Church of England (after the Monarch and the Archbishop of Canterbury), will not replace his dog collar "even for the Queen", aides said.
Protest: The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu (the third highest Anglican figure after the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury) cuts up his dog collar live on the BBC this morning. He vows never to wear one again until Mugabe is removed from power from the former British colony, even for the Queen
His demonstration came as controversy surrounded the presence of the Zimbabwe ruler at the European Union's summit with African leaders in Lisbon.
Gordon Brown has boycotted the meeting rather than come face-to-face with Mugabe and German Chancellor Angela Merkel accused him of "damaging Africa" , adding: "We don't have the right to look away when human rights are trampled on."
Dr Sentamu is a long-standing critic of Mugabe. Earlier this year the Ugandan-born Archbishop described him as "the worst kind of racist dictator" and called for him to be isolated with the same kind of economic and sporting sanctions that were used against South Africa in the apartheid era.
Today, the Archbishop criticised the African leaders who have rallied round Mugabe and who still see him as a freedom fighter who liberated his country from white rule.
Dr Sentamu took out a pair of scissors and cut up his dog collar on BBC One's Andrew Marr Show.
"As an Anglican this is what I wear to identify myself, that I'm a clergyman," he said.
Angry: He said he would not wear the item again until Mugabe had left power. "Stop looking to the past" Sentamu tells Mugabe
"Do you know what Mugabe has done? He has taken people's identity and literally, if you don't mind, cut it to pieces.
"So, as far as I am concerned, from now on I am not going to wear a dog collar until Mugabe is gone."
The decision not to wear a dog collar means that the Archbishop will appear in public in an unadorned Church of England bishop's purple shirt. He will not wear the dog collar with archepiscopal robes during services, even on state occasions.
The detachable dog collar is thought have been invented in the 1800s while the collarino - material which partially covers the white collar and is common with Roman Catholic clergy - is thought to date as far back as the 17th century.
According to research carried out in 1976 by the Church of England's Enquiry Centre, the dog collar became popular with Anglican clergy during the Oxford Movement in the 19th century.
The Archbishop said that African leaders who support Mugabe are displaying "pernicious, self-destructing racism.
"A white man does it, the whole world cries," Dr Sentamu said. "A black person does it, there is a certain sense of, oh, this is colonialism.
"I am sorry, I don't buy this. Africa and all the world have got to liberate Africa from this mental slavery and this colonial mentality - whenever there is anything you blame somebody else instead of yourself."
The Archbishop said of Zimbabwe, where many shops are empty of basic foodstuffs and only one in five people have a job: "Mugabe has turned his country from a bread basket into a basket case.
"He has actually taken a country really into a sheer chaos and he has been so brutal that in the long run the world has got to say, if the South African people and leaders won't do it, something has got to happen."
Dr Sentamu called on Christians to "pray, march and protest" over Zimbabwe as they did over Ian Smith's white-ruled Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa.
"As Christmas comes around, spare a pound for a child starving in Darfur and in Zimbabwe.
Let this money be collected so that when the time comes, people can actually have their houses and their homes rebuilt."