The Zimbabwean bishops’ conference has said it has “forgiven” ousted president Robert Mugabe for his “transgressions” during his time in office over the past 37 years.

In a statement, the country’s bishops thanked Mr Mugabe for the “good work” he did as president and during the Bush War that led to the creation of the modern state of Zimbabwe.

“We thank the former president for the good work he did for Zimbabwe during the liberation struggle and as president for 37 years. We forgive him for any shortcomings during his long tenure of office.”

Mr Mugabe resigned as president last week after the military intervened to force him from power.

During his time in office, the country, which was once regarded as the “breadbasket of Africa”, suffered economic collapse and hyperinflation.

Mr Mugabe’s policy of forcing white farmers from their land also led to economic sanctions and international condemnation.

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