The Archbishop’s visit, even though the Church insists it is purely pastoral, could carry more weight than an official visit by a senior politician because the Church is so strong in southern and central Africa. More than 85 per cent of Zimbabweans are Christian.
Given that many no longer recognise Mugabe as their leader, the Anglicans, at least, certainly regard Dr Williams as being in possession of comparable if not greater authority, secular as well as moral and spiritual….
Dr Williams is walking into a den as bad as Daniel’s, where he has no guarantee of achieving anything. But speaking to Anglicans in Zimbabwe yesterday, their hope for what the visit might bring was palpable. For that alone, for bringing the gift of hope to those traumatised Christians, the visit is a risk worth taking.