The Archbishop of York cut up his clerical dog collar live on television nearly ten years ago in protest at Robert Mugabe’s regime in Zimbabwe.
He said he would not put it back on until Robert Mugabe stepped down, emphasizing that it [clerical collar] was about his identity, and that Mugabe had taken the identity of the Zimbabwean people and ‘cut it into pieces’.
“As far as I’m concerned, from now on I’m not going to wear a dog collar until Mugabe is gone,” he said when he appeared on the the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme on December 9, 2007.
As Archbishop, he has delivered his services without the traditional marker of the clergy for last 10 years.
UG Christian News has learnt that the 68-year-old, elder brother to Mega Church Pastor Robert Kayanja, has accepted an invitation to return to the show in the wake of Mugabe’s historic resignation as Zimbabwe’s president this week.
A spokeswoman for the archbishop told Christian Today, Andrew Marr has kept the pieces of Sentamu’s dog collar to this day, and The Times reports Marr is looking forward to ‘congratulating him on being so unflinchingly open-throated for so long’.
The spokeswoman added Sentamu was not currently wearing his dog collar but would do ‘when the time is right’.
Sentamu himself was unavailable for comment when approached by Christian Today but tweeted that his prayers were with Zimbabwe and its people.
The inauguration of Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa took place on Friday as tens of thousands of people packed the National Sports Stadium in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare.
The 75-year-old said he felt “deeply humbled” to take the role.
Mr Mugabe – who had allegedly plotted to have Grace Mugabe, the then-first lady, to take up the presidency – was after a military coup forced to announce his resignation on Tuesday, ending 37 years of authoritarian rule.
Military rulers agreed to give Mugabe immunity from prosecution and insisted he can live safely in Zimbabwe.
A government source confirmed to Reuters that Mugabe had told negotiators he wanted to die in Zimbabwe and had no plans to live in exile.
‘For him it was very important that he be guaranteed security to stay in the country … although that will not stop him from travelling abroad when he wants to or has to,’ the source said.
A second source added: ‘The outgoing president is obviously aware of the public hostility to his wife [Grace], the anger in some circles about the manner in which she conducted herself and approached Zanu-PF party politics.
‘In that regard, it became necessary to also assure him that his whole family, including the wife, would be safe and secure.