Zimbabwe at the Crossroads Between Danger and Opportunity.
A Pastoral Message on the Current Situation
“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called
Children of God”- Matthew 5:9
- The Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe encompassing 845 member bodies representing over 4.5 million Christians wishes to draw the attention of the nation in general, and the governing authorities in particular, to the seriousness of the crisis before us.
- The crisis facing Zimbabwe is the multi-layered crisis of the convergence of economic collapse, deepening poverty, food insecurity, corruption and human rights abuses among other crises in urgent need of resolution. The recent arrests, prohibitions of demonstrations and the various forms of expressions (online, individual protest and stay-away) of 31 July 2020 are the expression of growing frustration and aggravation caused by the conditions that the majority of Zimbabweans find themselves in.
- The arrest of citizens and prohibition of mass action has not dented the momentum of discontent and agitation but instead has caused it to gain regional and international attention through the #ZimbabweanLivesMatter which has gone viral. Arbitrary arrests, abductions, torture and suppression of people’s anger can only serve to deepen the crisis and take the nation into deeper crisis.
- Abrasive and exclusionary politics can only further fragment and threaten the already weak cohesion of our society. It has rightly often been said that the true definition of crisis is the meeting point between DANGER and OPPORTUNITY .
- We are calling the nation in general and the ruling authorities in particular, to urgent action to take the nation out of possible danger into the Kairos opportunity (season) that is beckoning us.
- To our Government, may it not be said of you what Jesus said to Jerusalem in Luke 19:41-45, that which would bring us peace is hidden from your eyes and that you did not recognize and embrace the opportunity (Kairos) offered by the current crisis for the birthing of a new nation built on the values of the Zimbabwe We Want.
- It is clear and has been so for some time now that a united, multi-sectoral approach is needed to resolve the current multi-faceted crisis. The Government and ruling party alone will not be able to resolve this crisis because of the loss of trust in the current national processes and institutions, and a deep concern that there seems to be no distinction between the ruling party and the Government and that there is a self-serving and selective application of the law while the suffering of the citizenry continues unabated.
- We therefore urgently call for the following:
- Dialogue to address the underlying causes of the current crisis and realize the Zimbabwe we all want,
- Respect for human dignity, rights and freedom of expression,
- Observance of all COVID-19 preventative measures in the light of the dangerous spike in infections and death,
- Repentance, deep reflection and discernment built on the current 90 Days of Prayer and Fasting,
- Calm and peace,
- As the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ), we make an urgent plea to peace and nation building through inclusive engagement, dialogue and collective responsibility for transformation.