The Zimbabwe government, which has been criticized by the international community in recent weeks for its attempts to silence and intimidate judges and journalists, has now begun targeting clergy.

Paul Andrianotos, a white Presbyterian church minister from South Africa based in the southern Zimbabwean city of Bulawayo, 288 miles southwest of Harare, departed for the United Kingdom on Sunday, March 11, after the government refused to renew his work permit.

Andrianotos, 44, appears to have angered the government of President Robert Mugabe by criticizing state-sponsored violence. Last year Andrianotos spoke out at the funeral of a white farmer, Martin Olds, shot dead in Nyamandlovhu, south of Harare last April.

Last week, on March 9, the clergyman renewed his criticism of the government, this time following the murder of Olds' mother, 72-year-old Gloria Olds, who was gunned down at her Silver Streams Farm, also in Nyamandlovhu, early this month. Mrs Olds is the latest casualty of those invading white-owned farms. The Supreme Court has ruled that the takeovers are illegal, but the government, which has been accused of encouraging the farm invasions, seems determined to ignore the ruling.

At Olds' funeral on March 9 in Bulawayo, Andrianotos said: "For those responsible for the murders of Gloria and Martin Olds, I pray that they be cursed. For officials and cabinet ministers who ignore and act against just laws, I pray for your curse. For the leaders of this country who are not honest, sincere and have no compassion for the people, I pray that they be removed or cursed."

The March 9 service was attended by 250 members of the white farming community, including Martin Olds' younger son David and his family, and by members, both black ...

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