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Zimbabweans are dying of depression says Bulawayo archbishop

Zimbabweans are dying of depression as well as from HIV/AIDS and hunger, 60-year old Pius Ncube, Zimbabwe’s Roman Catholic archbishop of Bulawayo, says.

On a visit to Britain he told the BBC that inflation in the southern African country is in excess of 1000 per cent "and people are extremely depressed and tired of being harassed by President Mugabe’s secret police, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO)".

He told the interviewer: "So many children are out of schools, women are carrying the burden of bringing up families without food and already some people have died of depression.

The archbishop’s life has many times been threatened by militant members of President Mugabe’s ruling party, Zanu-PF, say church officials.

A UN report this week said that average lifespan for women has dropped to 34 years of age; for men 37.

"The government does little or nothing about HIV/AIDS. I think that the government is only too happy that world attention is on Iraq, Iran and the Darfur Region," the Archbishop said on a BBC radio programme.

The Independent Catholic News service reported on 22 November that each week an estimated 3500 Zimbabweans die "from a unique convergence of malnutrition, poverty and AIDS. The figure suggests that far from the media spotlight, more people die in Zimbabwe each week than in Darfur".

(c) Ecumenical News International