The archbishop of York, John Sentamu, has put his dog collar back on live on air, a decade after he removed it in protest at the regime of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.
Sentamu cut up his collar on The Andrew Marr Show in 2007 in protest against the rule of the then president, who was forced to resign earlier this week after 37 years in power. He said at the time that Mugabe had taken people’s identity and “cut it to pieces”, so he would do the same with his collar.
Back on the Sunday morning BBC One show 10 years later, Marr presented him with the pieces of his original collar and asked if he would start wearing his collar again.
Handing back the original collar, Marr said: “Nearly 10 years on, I’ve got them for you, they’ve been sitting in my desk. They’re in a slightly crumpled old envelope, but here they all are. I said I would give them back, so I’ll give them back.”
Calling Marr “a faithful friend”, Sentamu examined the pieces but said he would need a new collar.
“I actually think the lesson for Zimbabwe is the same, they just can’t try and stitch it up. Something more radical, something new needs to happen in terms of rule of law. Allowing people to get jobs, because 90% of people are out of work, so they can’t just stitch it up,” he said.
Sentamu pulled out a new collar from the inside pocket of his jacket, and put it around his neck.
“I promised then when Mugabe goes I will put my collar on, so I have no choice but to put it back on after Mugabe has gone. But the new president has got to remember something more now than simply stitching up a thing will work.”
It emerged on Sunday that Mugabe and his wife will receive a “golden handshake”worth millions of dollars. Although the exact sums are unclear, one senior ruling party official with direct knowledge of the agreement said the total would not be less than $10m (£7.5m).
Mugabe, who has been granted immunity from prosecution and a guarantee that no action would be taken against his family’s extensive business interests, would receive a cash payment of $5m immediately, with further payments over the coming months, the official said.