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Pastoral Statement On Zimbabwe World Day Of Action On Zimbabwe

Pastoral Statement On Zimbabwe World Day Of Action On Zimbabwe, 25 MAY 2008

The KwaZulu-Natal Council of Churches and the entire ecumenical movement in KZN, joins the rest of the world in embarking on a series of actions that highlight the continued deterioration of the situation in Zimbabwe and expressing our continued solidarity with our neighbours.

In journeying with the people of Zimbabwe, we had hoped and prayed for the elections of 29 March 2008 to be the beginning of the end of corruption, abuse of power, violence, social, political and economic woes that have faced this once great nation. Our hearts are heavy laden because this has not been so. Rather, we have seen a sharp rise in politically motivated violence directed at those who are perceived to have voted against President Mugabe and his ZANU PF. Homes have been burnt down, granaries and food have been destroyed. Women have been raped. Children are denied education. Some schools have closed down and teachers have fled from schools in fear of violence. Some people are beaten stopped from attending worship services. The sick and wounded have no access to hospitals. Some hospitals, including church mission hospitals, have closed down.

This is not the will of God. If anything, those who hold power in Zimbabwe have decided to go against God. Their actions show beyond doubt that they have no concerns for the Kingdom of God where people aspire to be peace makers, where the kingdom is opened to those who mourn, and to those who are poor. The actions of those in power exhibit the marks of the anti-Christ. As a Church, called to proclaim good news and to lead people into the Kingdom that Christ ushered, we rebuke the heartlessness of the perpetrators of this violence, and call upon the members of ZANU PF and President Mugabe and his government to repent.

We are concerned also about the lack of honesty and integrity that our own South African government has shown in the aftermath of the elections. We urge them to be at the forefront of truth telling about Zimbabwe to the world and to the Zimbabweans. The truth will set us free, both us and the Zimbabweans.

To the people of Zimbabwe, we join with you in the call for an immediate end to violence; for the creation of an environment conducive to a free and fair rerun of the presidential elections on 27 June; for the presence of local and international peace and election monitors. We assure you of our prayers and solidarity all the way through this nightmare.

May Justice and Peace prevail!

Rev Phumzile Zondi-Mabizela Chief Executive Officer

Proposed Prayer

Dear God, our creator, guide and protector,

We come to you in prayer and with hearts full of gratitude for the beautiful country and people of Zimbabwe.

We are mindful, however, of the difficult political situation they are facing.

We pray that you will demonstrate your presence in Zimbabwe.

Give new strength and courage to the people so that they may face the challenges of a difficult situation. Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a might stream.

We pray that you will remove the hearts of stone from the leaders, so that they may be freed from their

own fears, hunger for power and control.

We pray for peace and political stability in Zimbabwe.

We pray that international leaders intervene and ensure speedy solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe.

Lord, the people of Zimbabwe are desperate for change, for good governance and for better life. We pray that the South African Government offer more practical solutions than quiet diplomacy. We pray that South Africans treat their African brothers and sisters as fellow humans.

We pray for good leadership, justice, peace and order and security in Zimbabwe.

We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen