Christian Alliance Zimbabwe
The Christian Alliance Voice would like to congratulate the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC) on their excellent Prophetic Pastoral Letter to the nation. In our view the letter faithfully reflects the mind of Christ over what is happening in Zimbabwe today.
The Bishops have, therefore, faithfully discharged their responsibility as shepherds of the sheep. We would have loved to reproduce the whole letter for our readers but space does not allow. We are only able to publish the following extracts:-
The people of Zimbabwe are suffering. More and more people are getting angry, even from among those who had seemed to be doing reasonably well under the circumstances. The reasons for anger are many, among them, bad governance and corruption. A tiny minority of the people have become very rich overnight, while the majority are languishing in poverty, creating a huge gap between the rich and the poor. Our Country is in deep crisis. A crisis is an unstable situation of extreme danger and difficulty. Yet, it can also be turned into a moment of grace and of a new beginning, if those responsible for causing the crisis repent, heed the cry of the people and foster a change of heart and mind especially during the imminent Easter Season, so our Nation can rise to new life with the Risen Lord.
The present crisis in our Country has its roots deep in colonial society. Despite the rhetoric of a glorious socialist revolution brought about by the armed struggle, the colonial structures and institutions of pre-independent Zimbabwe continue to persist in our society. None of the unjust and oppressive security laws of the Rhodesian State have been repealed; in fact, they have been reinforced by even more repressive legislation, the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), in particular. It almost appears as though someone sat down with the Declaration of Human Rights and deliberately scrubbed out each in turn.
Why was this done? Because soon after Independence, the power and wealth of the tiny white Rhodesian elite was appropriated by an equally exclusive black elite, some of whom have governed the country for the past 27 years through political patronage. Black Zimbabweans today fight for the same basic rights they fought for during the liberation struggle. It is the same conflict between those who possess power and wealth in abundance, and those who do not; between those who are determined to maintain their privileges of power and wealth at any cost, even at the cost of bloodshed, and those who demand their democratic rights and a share in the fruits of independence; between those who continue to benefit from the present system of inequality and injustice, because it favours them and enables them to maintain an exceptionally high standard of living, and those who go to bed hungry at night and wake up in the morning to another day without work and without income; between those who only know the language of violence and intimidation, and those who feel they have nothing more to lose because their Constitutional rights have been abrogated and their votes rigged.
Many people in Zimbabwe are angry, and their anger is now erupting into open revolt in one township after another. The confrontation in our Country has now reached a flashpoint. As the suffering population becomes more insistent, generating more and more pressure through boycotts, strikes, demonstrations and uprisings, the State responds with ever harsher oppression through arrests, detentions, banning orders, beatings and torture. In our judgment, the situation is extremely volatile. In order to avoid further bloodshed and avert a mass uprising the nation needs a new people driven Constitution that will guide a democratic leadership chosen in free and fair elections that will offer a chance of economic recovery under genuinely new policies.
We conclude our Pastoral Letter by affirming with a clear and unambiguous Yes our support of morally legitimate political authority. At the same time we say an equally clear and unambiguous No to power through violence, oppression and intimidation. We call on those who are responsible for the current crisis in our Country to repent and listen to the cry of their citizens. To the people of Zimbabwe, we appeal for peace and restraint when expressing their justified grievances and demonstrating for their human rights.