by Justus Waimiri & Reuters
Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, has asked Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (CPSA) to mediate in the longstanding dispute between Zimbabwe and Britain.
The invitation was made by the President after a two-hour meeting with the Archbishop in the Zimbabwe capital of Harare on Saturday 1 February. "It certainly opens a new window of hope," said the Archbishop.
The dispute began simmering after President Mugabe promised to give white-owned land to blacks, which has led to land invasions and violent clashes. As a result, the President has faced increasing isolation from the international community.
Zimbabwe is battling record unemployment, crippling fuel shortages and a hunger crisis that is threatening nearly half of the country's 14 million people. The HIV/AIDS pandemic is also taking a toll on the people.
Archbishop Ndungane said he discussed the worsening political, economic and social crisis with President Mugabe. "He does not deny that there is a problem," he said.