Archbishop dons new dog collar after cutting up old one in protest over Mugabe

The Archbishop of York has resumed wearing a dog collar after cutting up his previous one in protest at Robert Mugabe's rule in Zimbabwe.

Dr John Sentamu said a South African-style truth and reconciliation process was needed to heal Zimbabwe's divisions following the end of Mr Mugabe's 37-year rule.

The Archbishop said Zimbabwe's new president Emmerson Mnangagwa, a former ally of Mr Mugabe, should not attempt to "bury the past" and his role in it.

"He needs similar to what South Africa did - a truth, justice and reconciliation commission to look into it so that this doesn't hang over him like a big cloud.

"I'm a man of faith, a strong believer in hope and a strong believer that people can change so it's quite possible that Emmerson Mnangagwa could actually be a very good president.

"But he can't simply bury the past, it won't go away."

Asked if 93-year-old Mr Mugabe should be forgiven, he said: "Mugabe at some point needs to say to the people of Zimbabwe: 37 years (ago) I took on a country which was fantastic, I nearly took it to ruin, Zimbabweans forgive me."

The Ugandan-born Archbishop, who cut up his clerical collar in a symbolic protest on TV a decade ago, returned to the BBC's Andrew Marr Show to be handed back the remains of the item.

Instead of attempting to reassemble the old collar he produced a new one from his pocket and put it around his neck.

"I actually think the lesson for Zimbabwe is the same - you just can't try and stitch it up, something more radical, something new needs to happen in terms of the rule of law, allowing people to get jobs - because 90% of people aren't in work.

"You can't just stitch it up, I need a new collar."

Dr Sentamu said a voice had told him to "light a candle" in the days leading up to Mr Mugabe's downfall.

The first burned out on November 14 as the military takeover began, while a second lasted until November 21 - the day of Mr Mugabe's resignation.

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