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Justin Welby
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Justin Welby 'stands in solidarity' with Christians in Zimbabwe

by Tola Mbakwe

The 93-year-old president made his first public appearance on Friday since the military put him under house arrest this week, attending a graduation ceremony on the outskirts of Harare.

The appearance came even as the military announced "significant progress" on talks for his departure and arrested some of his allies.

In a Facebook status posted on Thursday, Archbishop Justin said he had been following the events closely and is praying intensely for a peaceful solution.

He said: "I am praying for the whole nation of Zimbabwe - its people, its military, its political leaders - that they may find a path forward that leads to the flourishing of this nation and all its people."

Archbishop Justin added that he "stands in solidarity" with the Church in Zimbabwe.

He said: "To the Church in Zimbabwe: your brothers and sisters around the Anglican Communion stand with you in prayer, solidarity and hope.

"Your faith, courage and persistence in the face of difficult times has long been an example to the world.

"May God strengthen, protect and guide you as you seek to bear witness to the love of Christ at this deeply challenging time."

AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi
Mugabe made his first appearance since the military put him under house arrest this week

Meanwhile a Christian man from Zimbabwe told Premier News Hour why it's time for a change in leadership in the country. 

Allen Mavunga, who lives in the southwest city of Buluwayo said: "Some people are saying November 18th tomorrow is our new independence.  We are marching to the State House and we are going to voice our concerns... to tell him 'it's time for you to go.' "

Mavunga added Zimbabweans have been living in bondage for decades. 

He said during Premier News Hour: "You have no idea what's going to happen. They won independence and did everything to liberate our country and give us freedom, but at times, people want to keep on with their own ways and don't want to change. 

"This has been a long time coming.

"You can see people are so excited on the streets, people are happy, people are talking about it, the youth, the elderly, they're so excited because we've known one president for the past 37 years. It's something new."

Listen to Allen Mavunga speaking with Premier's Tola Mbakwe here: 

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