The humanitarian disaster in Zimbabwe has been described as a “man made tsunami.” Many of the people in this longsuffering country who have watched their homes and churches being bulldozed and burned by Mugabe's army and police are calling it: “the Mugabe tsunami.”
The systematic human rights abuses and persecution of Christians by Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF regime are well documented. However, the media coverage of the Communist catastrophe in Zimbabwe has been surprisingly subdued. Public outrage in neighbouring countries has often been absent and humanitarian concern has been erratic and inadequate. Christians in Zimbabwe are shocked that so many of their African brothers support the oppressive government of Mugabe and seem unconcerned about their afflictions.
The destruction of the homes and informal businesses of over 1.5 million people in Zimbabwe was only the most recent example of the destructive policies of a callous government. For 25 years Robert Mugabe has been the President of Zimbabwe.
Initially Mugabe was held in very high regard by the West. He was knighted by the Queen of England, given official visits to the United States and Britain and many lifted him up as an ideal example of a wise and moderate African leader. Some even hailed Mugabe as “a modern day messiah.”
When Mugabe's ZANU-PF Marxist revolutionaries were handed power in Zimbabwe / Rhodesia, Bishop Tutu, of the South African Council of Churches, effused that this was: “The arrival of the Kingdom of God in Zimbabwe!” (Ecunews Bulletin, 11/1980).
Initially optimism was high for Zimbabwe. The vicious war had come to an end and a peaceful settlement had been enforced by Britain. Foreign aid, especially from Britain, America and the European Union flooded the country. Zimbabwe at Independence had so much going for it. It had one of the most productive and efficient agricultural economies in Africa. There was tremendous tourist potential with magnificent scenery, well stocked game reserves, spectacular tourist attractions, such as the Victoria Falls, a pleasant temperate climate, tremendous natural resources, gold, platinum and other precious ores, a modern banking sector, skilled manufacturers, and an efficient road and railway network. The Zimbabwean people were also amongst the best-educated people in Africa.
Today, a quarter of a century later, that once prosperous nation has been impoverished. The initial optimism and enthusiasm at Independence has vanished and been replaced by disillusionment, despair and desperation. Just in June, 2005, over 1.5 million people in Zimbabwe had their homes and informal businesses destroyed by Mugabe's army and police.
Some churches, which had taken in these homeless and destitute people, experienced police raids in the middle of the night. The refugees were then forced onto open trucks and not seen since. Zimbabwean police attacked 400 women who gathered for an all-night prayer meeting and severely assaulted them, 38 were so severely injured that they had to be hospitalised. The focus of this womens’ prayer meeting was to pray for peace. Pastors have been arrested for “subversive prayers.”Many Christians have been arrested, tortured and murdered.
“Remember the prisoners as if chained with them - those who are mistreated - since you yourselves are in the body also.” Hebrews 13:3
A CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE
Collen Makumbirofa of the Foundation of Reason and Justice, reports: “The recent Operation Murambatsvine (literally ‘drive out the filth’) which left millions homeless was brutal…the Zimbabwean Communist government is waring against God and His people…the military government uses force to manipulate the ballot. In an immoral society where power is controlled by a few, the ballot can be made to speak anything. The Zimbabwean government is a criminal enterprise that is guilty of corruption, mismanagement, misguided policies, oppressive laws, murder, lies and institutionalised theft…the Zimbabwean economy has collapsed completely due to state terrorism, diabolical expropriation of White owned farms and massive corruption.
“The manner in which the government is running the country is wicked and anti-economic progress. Fundamental to Communism is the starving of all dissenters. This accounts for the expropriation of farms, destruction of the means of livelihood and homes, exorbitant import duties and quotas…
“Human rights abuses in Zimbabwe are considerably worse than ever occurred in Apartheid South Africa…freedom of movement and assembly has been curtailed…people are beaten and arrested for being seen in company of three. To those who work, more than half of their pay goes to the government through taxes…thousands are rotting in prison…thousands who are being robbed of their possessions by the police, soldiers and militia, have nowhere to appeal to. Thousands are dying every week…because hospitals and clinics have no medicine. Millions are starving because their homes and means of livelihood have been destroyed completely…
ROBBING THE POOR
“Robbing the poor is one of the greatest evils under the Sun…The selfish world is not interested in giving practical help to the sick, prisoners and starving. Even those in the Free World…are inconsiderate and have closed their ears to the cries in Zimbabwe. Women are being robbed and raped every day, men have been disempowered, children, including the unborn, suffer much pain as their mothers have no food…
AIDING THE OPPRESSED
“The oppressors are seeking finance from South Africa and more alliance with the crooked Chinese politicians to increase their capacity to oppress God's people…money that will be given to Mugabe will be used to please dissatisfied soldiers, militias and police who are being used as hired guns to oppress innocent people.” (www.forjustice.atspace.org)
“Hate evil, love good; Establish justice in the gates...” Amos 5:15
SILENCE IS A SIN
Rev. Molefe Tseletse, at a prayer meeting for Zimbabwe in Johannesburg, declared: “It is a lie to say that there is no problem or crisis in Zimbabwe. The Church in Zimbabwe and South Africa must speak the truth even if there might be divisions among us, let there be.”
One of the members of the Pastoral Delegation of the Zimbabwean Churches, reported at this meeting: “The situation in Zimbabwe is getting worse and worse.”
ABUSING ASYLUM SEEKERS
One Zimbabwean woman stood up at a prayer meeting in Johannesburg and declared: “They have destroyed my home. What will I do? Right now I am in South Africa, the police can arrest me any time and take me to Lindela Detention Camp. I'm sick…if they take me to Lindela I know I will die there.” Lindela is the South African detention camp for illegal immigrants. Human rights groups have documented at least 28 people who have died in this camp.
Collen Makumbirofa reports that more than 2 million Zimbabweans have fled to South Africa to escape the severe political and religious persecutions in Zimbabwe. He writes: “South African Department of Home Affairs deny them asylum permits and refugee status…the go-slow tactics of…the Department of Home Affairs is characterised by unprecedented corruption over asylum seekers and refugees. The Home Affairs officials demand bribes from poor asylum seekers…even the holders of the asylum permits are required to pay bribes by the police…Permit holders who fail to pay bribes end up in the notorious Lindela Detention Camp…I think there is a secret agreement between South Africa and Zimbabwean ruling politicians to inconvenience or cause suffering to Zimbabweans seeking asylum. Most of the people deported to Zimbabwe will be harassed, tortured and beaten by Zimbabwean authorities.
DO YOU CARE?
“What also causes much pain to the Zimbabweans in South Africa is the rejection by most parts of the South African society, including most churches. The hardships inflicted on Zimbabweans at the hands of government officials and police is a reflection of the negative attitude of most South Africans towards their neighbours. They love Mugabe more than their Christian brothers.
“A genocide is taking place in Zimbabwe. The African Union and United Nations are useless. These organisations have ignored many genocides in Africa. The suffering that was experienced…in Communist Russia and other Communist nations, this is what the Zimbabwean people face. Millions face starvation. More than 3 million have fled Zimbabwe. What about those…many slaves in Zimbabwe: Do those in the Free World care about us?
“Mr. Mbeki doesn't care about the oppressed people of Zimbabwe. He has been denying that there is even a crisis in Zimbabwe. In March 2005 his puppet observer mission declared the rigged parliamentary elections free and fair before they were even conducted.”(Foundation of Reason and Justice).
As Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin observed: “It is not who votes that counts, but he who counts the votes!”
“Since Mugabe came to power, Zimbabwe has been transformed from an African paradise with a 4.5% growth rate to the fastest shrinking economy in the world. Three quarters of the population live below the poverty line. Life expectancy has dropped from 59 to 34 more than 400 MDC (opposition) members have been murdered by government militias since 1999…the largest independent newspaper, Daily News, has been bludgeoned, beaten and bombed into silence. Foreign press is absent or rigidly monitored. Any real reporting is done with hidden cameras. Mugabe's anti-Western and anti-White rhetoric has increased…the US has labelled Zimbabwe, with Iran and North Korea, as an ‘outpost of tyranny’.
THE NORTH KOREAN CONNECTION
“North Korean advisers are known to have spent most of the 1980's in the country, training Mugabe's infamous Fifth Brigade and his bodyguards…they set up compulsory Indoctrination Centres for young people, teaching them blind loyalty to the ruling party and its leader and hatred of political opponents, especially Whites…they were also inducted into assassination techniques…An ever present scar on the Zimbabwean psyche, especially in Matabeleland, is the memory of the terrible massacres, purge and rape, the Gukurahundi, unleashed during the North Korean era by the Fifth Brigade. No one knows the number of the victims…a scorched land, a ghostlike land of silence and destroyed villages, and survivors too traumatised to speak.” (www.debka.com)
A STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE
Church of England missionary, Rev. Arthur Lewis, who has been dedicated to serving the Zimbabwean people for decades, reports: “Zimbabwe is now in a desperate and chaotic condition, apart from the tyranny and tortures which grows daily. Hunger stalks millions in the country. Commonplace items are often unobtainable…garbage is not collected. Inflation rockets. Britain, colonialism and drought are blamed for everything. But the people did not go hungry during Rhodesia's frequent droughts.
THE JAILS ARE FULL
“Even worse is the environmental devastation which will take generations to repair. The farmlands are being wrecked, forestlands burned and the game in the reserves are being snared, shot and eaten. Many of the country's assets are being sold off to South Africans, the Chinese or other foreigners. And the Zimbabwean government is intensifying its brutal campaign against its own people, arresting literally thousands of men and women who are struggling to put food into the mouths of their destitute families. Its filthy jails are filled to overflowing…a tortured, starving and unarmed people without friendly neighbours struggles to survive…prayer is strength for those who otherwise have no hope.”
“Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.” Psalm 71:4
At a debate in the House of Commons, in London, the following facts on Zimbabwe were revealed:
7 million Zimbabweans are dependant on external food aid. 75% of Zimbabwe's population are now living below the poverty line. Out of originally 5,500 productive commercial farms, today less than 500 farms are in any way operational. So far the Zimbabwean government has targeted farms, with a total area of almost 12 million hectares, for what they term “resettlement.” In fact what the Zimbabwean government calls “land reform” has proven to be nothing other than farm invasions by mobs who loot, burn and destroy what were once productive farms and then return with their loot to urban areas.
“For I, the Lord, love justice, I hate robbery...” Isaiah 61:8
The economy in Zimbabwe is one of the fastest shrinking in the world. Unemployment is officially over 70% (actually 90%). 95% of the food aid is not reaching those in need. People in Zimbabwe have been bluntly told that they will not get any food aid unless they vote for the party of Robert Mugabe, ZANU-PF. Life expectancy in Zimbabwe has plummeted to 34 years for men and 33 years for women. 24% of the population has been recorded as being HIV positive. There are already 700,000 AIDS orphans in Zimbabwe.
In a 2002 report by the European Community's Court of Auditors, it was recorded that 89% of aid money from the European Union had been embezzled by Robert Mugabe and his cronies.
The latest Transparency International Corruption Perceptions index rates Zimbabwe as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, just under Chad, Bangladesh, Turkmenistan, Myanmar, Haiti, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast and Angola. Zimbabwe is described as marked by “rampant” and “severe corruption.”
“Evil will slay the wicked...” Psalm 34:21
Amnesty International has documented over 1000 cases of torture by the Zimbabwean government. Nearly half of the Members of Parliament belonging to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change have been assaulted, mostly by the police. Many of the opposition Members of Parliament have been arrested, some imprisoned and several have been murdered. A quarter of the opposition Members of Parliament have survived assassination attempts. Not only have opposition Members of Parliament been assaulted, but even their lawyers. Human Rights groups have documented literally hundreds of thousands of human right abuses, including severe beatings, abductions, torture and murder, in the last 5 years.
“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Deliver those who are drawn toward death and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.” Proverbs 24:10-11
THE BRAIN DRAIN
Over 4 million Zimbabweans have fled the country. It is reported that 1.1 million Zimbabweans are now living in the United Kingdom. According to SAPA, 500,000 health professionals, teachers, accountants, scientists and engineers have left Zimbabwe. This massive brain drain of the most qualified Zimbabweans, particularly in the health and education sectors, undermines any possibility of reversing the catastrophic collapse of Zimbabwe's economy. According to the Scientific and Industrial Research Centre, most of these health professionals have left the country because of the deteriorating economic conditions, the triple digit inflation, and perennial shortages of basic goods such as fuel.
A survey of final year college and university students in Zimbabwe reveals that 77% of students were being encouraged by their families to leave Zimbabwe. Tens of thousands of Zimbabwean doctors, nurses, pharmacists, teachers and other professionals have already left the country. Most seriously affected is the health sector where 60% of state registered nurses and half of the medical doctors have left the country, just in the last 5 years. 60% of the students said they want to be permanent residents overseas, preferred destinations being: South Africa (36%), Europe (29%) and North America (24%). While most of these students would want to be buried back in Zimbabwe, only 3% were satisfied with the present economic situation there. Over a quarter of the students had already applied, or were in the process of applying, for a work permit in another country.
(The Southern African Migration Project, SAMP).
RACISM AND LAWLESSNESS
Zimbabwe Transport Minister, Chris Mushohwe, told a business conference that the government could seize companies owned, or run, by Whites. Robert Mugabe has recently signed into law an amendment to the Constitution that will make it impossible for the thousands of White farmers who have lost their homes and land to contest the take-overs in court(News24). The state run media are continually broadcasting racist hate speech against Whites. The White population in Zimbabwe has been reduced from 300,000 in 1980 to less than 30,000 today. Many of those left are pensioners, economic prisoners whose pensions and savings have been wiped out by Mugabe’s hyperinflation. It is to such destitute people that our missions of mercy smuggle in food and medicines.
“One ordinance shall be for you of the assembly and for the stranger who dwells with you...One law and one custom shall be for you and for the stranger...” Numbers 15:15-16
POLICE TURN TO CRIME
Things in Zimbabwe have deteriorated so badly that even Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri, complained before a Parliamentary committee that police officers were so poorly paid that they had to survive on bribes “to buy cabbages for their families.” The Commissioner also complained that state security agencies are paralysed by crippling fuel shortages. The Zimbabwe Republic Police announced the dismissal of 24 officers, including senior officers, for involvement in corruption and unspecified criminal activities. In October, 3 Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) agents appeared in court facing charges of armed robbery. (The Zimbabwe Standard)
SOLDIERS TURN TO CRIME
An army officer interviewed by the Independent Foreign Service, reported that increasing numbers of soldiers and police were resorting to violent crime to make a living. Soldiers recently appeared in court in Masvingo for going on a robbery spree using military weapons. Many soldiers had been sent home because the government had no money to feed them in the barracks. Many soldiers have gone for long periods without any uniforms or training equipment. Insiders in Zimbabwe security forces say that the situation is “wholly unsustainable.” (www.africancrisis.org)
University of Zimbabwe lecturer and social analyst, Eldred Masunungure, has commented that these spate of security force personnel committing armed robberies poses “a serious threat to national security…Who will guard the guardian when the people who are supposed to be protecting the citizens are the ones who are inflicting pain on them?” (The Zimbabwe Standard)
“Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets.” Psalm 55:11
Vast areas of forest and grazing land in Zimbabwe have been destroyed by uncontrolled fires. The Ministry of the Environment and Tourism Acting Secretary, Dr. Alfred Ncube, reported before a parliamentary portfolio committee that billions of Dollars worth of forestry, nature reserve and farmland had been destroyed in recent weeks by wild fires. 1623 hectares of timber, owned by Border Timbers, and 200 hectares of timber, belonging to the Forestry Company of Zimbabwe had been destroyed, along with billions of Dollars worth of coffee plantations belonging to the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority. 7000 hectares of the Nyanga National Park had also been destroyed. Dr. Ncube reported that these wild fires which had devastated extensive tracts of forest, grassland, wildlife and other precious natural resources, as well as destroying chalets, farm houses and killing and injuring people, had been caused by human factors.
The causes of the fires were: “The smoking out of bees for honey, the lighting of fires at roadsides by resting motorists, careless throwing of burning cigarette stubs and the burning of vegetation by hunters to flush out game.” Illegal settlers at the Chimanimani area were blamed for causing most of the fires.
Mr. Kanyekanye, of Forestry Company of Zimbabwe, reported to the Committee that “There is nothing which is being done to stop the uncontrolled fires.”
The last surviving 1000 wildebeest in Rhodes Nyanga National Park were now in danger as their grazing land had been destroyed. Night after night these wildebeest, and other game in the park, had been seen stampeding from one valley to the other to escape the raging fires. Where there had previously been dense forests, lush green vegetation and an array of savannah grassland valleys with wild animals roaming free, the countryside has now been reduced to black soot. (www.allafrica.com)
“How long will the land lie parched and the grass in every field be withered? Because those who live in it are wicked, the animals and birds have perished.” Jeremiah 12:4
Justice For Agriculture reports that Zimbabwe has one of the highest inflation rates in the world. “The country's limping economy has been worsened by foreign currency, fuel and food shortages…hamstrung industries, plunging production levels to below 30%.”
Zimbabwean commentator, Eddie Cross, who lives in Bulawayo, noted in August 2005, that since 1997, “the economy has shrunk by over 50%, Exports by 2/3rds and living standards have retreated to levels last seen in the mid-50's - half a century ago. Life expectancies have declined from a high of 59 years on average…to less than 34 years today. No other country in recent history has seen such a collapse in its economic fortunes in peace time.”
“Your silver has become dross...” Isaiah 1:22
I remember, in the 1970's, when a Rhodesian Dollar was three-times stronger than the US Dollar. It would take US$ 3 to buy 1 Rhodesian Dollar. In October 2005 one of our missionaries reported that the official exchange rate was Z$ 27,000 to US$ 1. However, almost anyone in Zimbabwe was ready to exchange Z$ 85,000 to Z$ 125,000 to US$1. One bottle of Coca Cola cost Z$ 60,000!
Reportedly Zimbabwe's stock market, which still has 82 publicly listed companies, was repeatedly paralysed with days passing with no buyers for the deluge of shares on offer.
DESTRUCTION OF THE FARMS
In May 2005, the governor of the Reserve Bank in Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono, gave a two-and-a-half-hour presentation on the economy. While his audience of cabinet ministers, bankers and businessmen sipped their fruit juice and bottled water and feasted on a huge breakfast, the governor spoke about re-settled farms where the people (who are supposed to be farmers) are cutting down productive orchards to sell as firewood, rooting out mature coffee plantations in order to plant a few maize pips, stripping assets, destroying infrastructure and even moving immovable property in order to sell anything, and everything, that is left on the confiscated White farms they have been given by the government.
In his Monetary Policy statement, Gono described the farm invaders as “criminal economic saboteurs…unruly agents keen on reaping where they did not sow.”
LOOTING THE COUNTRY
The governor spoke of massive environmental degradation and rape of the land so widespread that “there would soon be nothing left for Zimbabwean children to inherit.” Gono said that the farm invasions would rob the country of much needed foreign currency and scare off investors from committing their resources to Zimbabwe.
The Reserve Bank governor reported on people leaving the country with suitcases literally bulging with US Dollars; of false fuel tanks under cars stuffed with foreign currency; of unauthorised charter aircraft flying in to collect shipments of gold. “Almost every sentence contained words like corruption, indiscipline, hoarding and abuse. He spoke about greed that knows no bounds…and impassioned pleas to save the environment and natural resources.”
VANDALISM AND VIOLENCE
Commentator Cathy Buckle feared that “his words and impassioned pleas to save the environment and natural resources will again fall on deaf ears…many of us had been crying out about the environmental destruction for the last five years, but we have been silenced, called colonialists, racists, imperialists and sell-outs. The facts, however, are there for all to see - Zimbabwe's natural resources are being looted and the environment is being completely destroyed…the rape of the environment has become so widespread…we can only assume that the silence and inaction of our authorities means that they do not want or expect their children to spend their lives in Zimbabwe. If they did then surely, they would do something.” (www.africantears.netfirms.com)
“For the nation and kingdom which will not serve You shall perish and those nations shall be utterly ruined.” Isaiah 60:12
“It's one hundred times worse than reported…many of you have seen the film Hotel Rwanda and what happened there by the world turning its back on the horror. Please do something about it now…!” The Whites in Zimbabwe are being vilified and targeted just as the Tutsi were in Rwanda.
POLITICS OF HATE
Robert Guest writes about: “Tribalism, racism and sectarianism…bigotry: treating individuals badly, not because of something they have done, but because they belong to a particular group. People find all sorts of unjust reasons to hate, and unjust governments exploit them all.” Ethnic differences have been “deliberately inflamed by unscrupulous leaders…it is not tribal feelings themselves that cause trouble; it is their politicisation. Most of Africa's ethnic strife has its roots in the manipulation of tribal loyalties by…authorities.”(The Shackled Continent)
Another letter from Zimbabwe pleads: “We are all terrified at what they are going to destroy next…I mean they are actually ploughing down brick and mortar houses and one White family with twin boys of 10 had no chance of salvaging anything when 100 riot police came in with AK's and bulldozers and demolished their beautiful house (5 bedrooms and pine ceilings) because it was 'too close to the airport'…it's genocide in the making and if you do not believe me, read the Genocide Report by Amnesty International, which says we are in level 7 (level 8 is after its happened and everyone is in denial)…We are all in a fearfully dangerous situation here…the pall of smoke all around our city is a reality, the thousands of homeless people sleeping outside in zero degree Celsius with no food, water, shelter and bedding are a reality. Today a family approached me…with two small children. Their home was trashed and they will have to sleep outside. We already support eight people and a child on this property and the electricity is going up next month by 250%, as is water. How can I take another family of four? And yet how can I turn them away to sleep out in the open?
“What is going to happen next? Will they start on our houses? All property is going to belong to the state now…we no longer have short wave radio access, which told us everything that was happening, because the government jammed it out of existence. We don't have any reporters, and no one is allowed to photograph. If we had reporters here they would have an absolute field day…people are shocked, stunned, bewildered and blown mindless by the wanton destruction of everyone's homes…”
NIGHT RAIDS ON CHURCHES
A press statement from The Churches in Bulawayo (the second largest city in Zimbabwe and the capital of Matabeleland) tells of night time raids on churches and forced removals of old people being cared for.
“The churches in Bulawayo have been working hard to alleviate the suffering of the displaced people. We consulted with the police commissioners and the governor…the churches in Bulawayo were allowed to shelter internally displaced people…on the 20th of July 2005 at about 9:30PM the police forced themselves into a number of churches where these people had been kept. The churches had made plans to move them to the rural areas. They had also prepared food packs, blankets and seed packs to be distributed. In spite of all the arrangements and agreements, that had been made on behalf of these people, the police went on to commandeer them into open trucks. We watched with horror as the operation unfolded.
WAR ON THE POOR
“Included with these people were the sick…the elderly, women and little children…children who were already asleep were woken up by the riot police and frog marched into the open police trucks…this operation was undertaken under the cover of darkness between 9PM and 5AM. The removal of the innocent, poor, weak, voiceless, and vulnerable members of society by riot police was uncalled for and unnecessary. It is inhuman, brutal and insensitive and in total disregard of human dignity. These people are not criminals, but bona fide citizens of this nation. It seems the crime they have committed is that they are poor…this is evidenced by the destruction of their simple structures and meagre property they owned…people died, some are traumatised, depressed, while others are now insane…
“The government misled us to believe that what they discussed with us was in good faith. There was no need to take leadership of the churches in Bulawayo in for questioning and later detention…on spurious allegations…this was uncalled for intimidation and harassment. They handcuffed our pastor and threatened him in a manner that is unwarranted. There is no rule of law…this demonstrates a tyrannical rule in our beloved country…school children have been displaced by this operation, which has denied them the right to education. We call on the government and its officials to abide by the laws and not to be above it. The rule of law must be restored. The churches should be allowed to continue with their God-given mandate and mission…”
CHURCH SCHOOLS SIEZED
Zimbabwe Education Minister, Aeneas Chigwedere, has introduced a law, which would place all private and church-owned schools under direct state supervision. If passed, Section 69 of the Education Act Amendment Bill would enable the Minister of Education to prescribe fees and levies of non-government schools, school uniforms, school holidays, size of classes, instruction, qualifications of teachers and all other aspects of church schools. The Minister of Education has stated that he wants all children across Zimbabwe to wear the same type and colour of school uniform and to receive the same education. Many of the country's schools have pass rates of only 3 to 8%. Thousands of children can no longer even afford to go to school at all.
A DEAFENING SILENCE
UN Human Rights rapporteur, Miloon Kothani, criticized African leaders for their failure to condemn Mugabe's human rights abuses:“The silence of major governments in Africa continues to be shocking. And influential individuals like Nelson Mandela, I don't understand why they don't speak out.”
Collen Makumbirofa, of the Foundation of Reason and Justice, published an answer to the UN Human Rights experts challenge: “The answer is 'the righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern' Proverbs 29:7. Most of the Black African leaders view Mugabe as their hero irrespective of the fact that there was never a time when a terrorist like Mugabe was right. Leaders like Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, and Obassanjo don't care. It's not in their interest to help millions struggling in Zimbabwe. Most of the time they condemn America and the Western world while right now their neighbour is destroying the lives of millions. If they are truly interested in truth, now is the time to speak out. The condemnation of the Western World by African leaders is rhetoric and a cover up for their own failures.”
Makumbirofa reports: “In the coldest month of the year, June 2005, Mugabe and his Communist government launched a scorched earth policy with a code name 'Operation Restore Order'. The operation destroyed tens of thousands of homes. More than 1,5 million people were left homeless…currently thousands of people are dying every week due to starvation and diseases. With no homes, food, blankets and drugs in the hospitals, millions have become more vulnerable. Mugabe's government is a criminal enterprise. How can Mugabe fight people just because they don't want him to be their President? Mugabe, like other Communist leaders, believes that denying food to his people, destroying homes and available means of livelihood will sustain him in power.”
WAR AGAINST GOD
“Mugabe is now refusing food aid into the country…satan came to lie, kill and destroy. We are in a war with satan and his agencies. These dictators fight God and His people…wanting co-existence with dictators is tantamount to committing suicide…Mugabe (Zimbabwe), Thabo Mbeki (South Africa)…Omar Bashir (Sudan), and their governments, are anti-God and a great hindrance to development of Africa as a whole. In most circumstances these leaders support each other. That is the very reason why they cannot condemn Mugabe, instead they blame Britain for what the Communists are doing in Zimbabwe.
“Myself, I only blame the British politicians who paved the way for Mugabe to come to power in 1980. They knew that Mugabe is a Communist being supported by China and Russia. Yet donors continued to pump money to support a new Communist regime.” It is often forgotten that Mugabe's ZANU-PF revolutionaries received United Nations (UN) funding despite its terrorist record of murdering missionaries, bayoneting babies, burning to death congregations of Christians in their church buildings, ambushing of Red Cross ambulances, exploding bombs in public streets, placing landmines in farm roads, and the cold blooded murder of thousands of unarmed civilians. In fact, the World Council of Churches (WCC) also channelled church funds to these Marxists who were murdering missionaries and burning churches.
LUST FOR POWER
“The major problem of Africa is Socialism, an insane lust for power, unprecedented corruption and gross mismanagement in Black governments. The Western World is developed because of the legacy of Christian principles of government and economics. In most African nations there is no room for such free trade, free media and free elections. We are a very rich continent, but our governments are our problem and the philosophy of Socialism, which most of our people support in ignorance.
AFRICA NEEDS BIBLICAL JUSTICE
“God has ordained the government to be a ministry of justice, not to control the economy, trade, education and industries. Socialism is a science that experiments on human beings…the solution for Africa is the spread of true or Reformed Christianity. True Christianity teaches about faith in Jesus Christ and opposes Socialism and madness in Humanistic governments. Most of our church leaders and Christians in Africa don't even know that Socialism is un-Biblical and that its logical conclusion is the destruction of society - Zimbabwe being a good example.
“Ignorance and inactivity continues to undermine development in Africa. The Western World (which is envied by African Communist or Socialist leaders and radical Muslims) owes its success to Christianity. The philosophy that people like Martin Luther, John Calvin and other Christians spread brought balance of power in governments, free market system and respect for human rights. I'm hurt by the destruction of millions of lives in Zimbabwe. Please pray for Zimbabwe. Please try to do something practical for the people dying in Zimbabwe.” (Foundation of Reason and Justice, P O Box 61885, Marshalltown, 2107, South Africa)
DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE
Mr. Makumbirofa also challenges the South African President, Thabo Mbeki for criticising the United States of America for listing Zimbabwe as one of the world's “outposts of tyranny.” In its article “America Right! Thabo Mbeki Wrong!” the Foundation of Reason and Justice states: “Thabo Mbeki is prepared to stand with his Marxist brother, President Robert Mugabe, no matter what. It's clear before the world that Mugabe is one of the worst dictators in the world. 'You will know them by their fruit…' Zimbabweans are living in slavery…the land invasions was a government-planned thing…the majority of Black Zimbabweans did not benefit from the expropriation of farms. The so-called war veterans and youth militias who were clambering for land distribution are tools that are being used for attaining the goals of greedy and self-seeking politicians…hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans have been abused, threatened and silenced. Thousands have been tortured by their government.
People are dying…speeded by state made starvation. 'Those who call the righteous, unrighteous and the unrighteous, righteous shall be denounced by the people.'
“The God of justice will prove Mr. Mbeki wrong before the world. In fact God is angry concerning the moral support being given to a murderous government. Mr. Mbeki must repent, recant his statement and stop supporting tyranny. 'Then you will know the truth; and the truth will set you free.' John 8:32 'Rescue those being led away to death (in Zimbabwe); hold back those staggering towards slaughter.' Proverbs 28:10-11. The mainstream media (superficial journalism) that has ignored the suffering of Zimbabweans is also ignoring the worst human suffering…”
“You who love the Lord, hate evil!” Psalm 97:10
A SMOKESCREEN FOR OPPRESSION
Tapera Kapuya, a former Zimbabwean student leader, who now lives in South Africa, has testified of how he was detained and tortured in Zimbabwe, in 2001. “It's not Blair who razed down people's houses. It's not Bush who tortured people in Zimbabwe.”Kapuya is studying law in Durban and is the African Secretary of the International Union of Students. He sees the blaming of the Whites and the West for the troubles in Zimbabwe as a smoke screen to cover ZANU-PF oppression.
On several occasions, President Mugabe has declared: “The epicentre of hell is Britain, and the Queen or King in power at the moment is the devil!” Rev. Arthur Lewis comments: “It is ironic that Mugabe should spew such hatred against the country that, for all practical purposes, installed him into power and even today continues to offer Zimbabwe so much practical help.”
Cathy Buckle's weekly internet newsletters have described police attacking women in Bulawayo who publicly carried flowers with the message: “Choose the power of love rather than the love of power.”Two South African trade union groups and another fact-finding delegation were expelled on arrival at Harare Airport. Three Zimbabwean newspapers have been closed down, including the popular Daily News, which was bombed, and more than 70 Zimbabwean journalists have been arrested, many tortured.
Cathy Buckle reports empty shelves in Marondera, yet large stacks of grain visible at the local Grain Marketing Board depot. Voluntary organisations and Christian missions which have done so much to support ordinary Zimbabweans in the past are now banned. Only government registered organisations are tolerated. Food aid is being used as a political weapon, denied to opposition supporters and only provided to ZANU-PF members.
How did it come to this? How could one of Africa's most prosperous nations have been so mismanaged as to now be one of the poorest nations on earth?
Robert Guest, the African Editor of The Economist, tackled this very question in his book “The Shackled Continent”: Mugabe's ZANU-PF regime in Zimbabwe has impoverished that once prosperous nation. Mugabe “siezes private property, thus sending a deafening warning to foreign and local investors alike: Do not put your money into Zimbabwe! He also tries to alter the laws of economics by decree. He fixes the price of petrol at below what it costs to import it, so the pumps run dry. He tries to create money by printing it, and so causes hyperinflation…He rigs elections to keep himself in power…He regards his opponents as enemies to be crushed.”
Guest notes that Mugabe's anti-White racism, state sponsored terrorism and land invasions have resulted in a national suicide. Mugabe “could only maintain his big spending ways as long as Zimbabwe received large amounts of foreign aid. The longer the Mugabe regime was in power, the more corrupt his cronies became and the more erratic his policies became. Donors grew tired of handing over money only to see it wasted or embezzled, so they became less generous. Corruption, incompetence and bad economic policies can always be relied upon to squander any amount of donor cash.”
FUNDAMENTAL FOUNDATIONS FOR FREEDOM
So what does Guest recommend? “Countries need governments that serve their citizens instead of robbing them, and which can be removed without violence…Countries need constitutions that provide reasonable protection for all citizens, regardless of whether they support the ruling party.” These seem very moderate suggestions, so why is it so difficult to have the rule of law and non-racial governments that truly serve their citizens instead of robbing them?
THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
Guest concludes that Africa has: “Two big problems. First, the tendency of African elites to spend other people's money on themselves…Second, the tendency to believe that Africa's problems are someone else's fault.” ( Shackled Continent)
“They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity.” 2 Peter 2:19
People are dying of starvation in a man-made famine. Vast herds of cattle and wildlife have been slaughtered. Crops and stores burned. Many people beaten or murdered. Thousands of productive farms have been looted by government organised mobs.
Not only did these farms feed the entire nation, but they also exported food, providing the highest percentage of foreign exchange earnings. These commercial farms were also the largest employers of labour in the country and provided homes for up to four million farm workers and their dependents.
Yet, President Robert Mugabe, needing a scapegoat for his failed socialism, and military adventurism using the ZNA army to prop up fellow Marxist dictators in Mozambique and the Congo, played the race card and declared: “Farmers are enemies of the state! ... The revolution is yet to be concluded ... We have set the rules! ... Those farmers who resist will die!” In all this Mugabe was following the example of Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin, who in 1930-32 launched the “dekulakization” campaign to “exterminate the Kulaks as a class.” The Kulaks were the reactionary farmers of the Ukraine. Whole farms were razed to the ground, villages destroyed, peasants massacred. Over 6 million died in the man-made famine under Stalin - but Communist control was entrenched. As Lenin taught: “Never underestimate the value of constructive chaos!”
Mugabe declared: “We have degrees in violence!” and “I will be a Black Hitler - ten fold!”
While the country has spiralled downwards into lawlessness and savagery, Marxist President, Robert Mugabe, was being applauded as a keynote speaker at the UN’s World Summit on Sustainable Development. At the same time his supporters were slaughtering endangered wildlife and destroying huge forests and game reserves in Zimbabwe. The brazen hypocrisy, of those who claim to oppose racism, enthusiastically applauding one of the most vicious racists on the continent of Africa defies belief.
“Who will rise up for Me against the wicked? Who will make a stand for Me against the workers of iniquity?” Psalm 94:16
PEACE IS HELL
Even under war conditions with total international economic sanctions, Rhodesia had the lowest unemployment and the lowest crime rate in the world. And nobody starved. Today, in peacetime, even with foreign aid, Zimbabwe has one of the highest crime rates, inflation rates and skyrocketing unemployment rates in the world. And its prisons and cemeteries are overflowing.
“Freedom” under Robert Mugabe in peace has proved to be infinitely worse than the “oppression under Ian Smith” during the war.
SERVING THE SUFFERING
Frontline Fellowship has been working in Zimbabwe since 1982. As the situation in Zimbabwe has deteriorated, so we have increased our activities in that desperately needy country. As a matter of policy, the Zimbabwe government is deliberately starving those in opposition.
In recent years we have distributed many tonnes of emergency relief aid, food and medicines to starving Christians in Zimbabwe. Amidst the state-orchestrated racial hatred, lawlessness and savagery, Frontline mission work in Zimbabwe has become particularly difficult and dangerous.
“You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Mark 12:31
As we are continuing to conduct mission trips into Zimbabwe, for the safety of our workers and those we serve, we cannot say much about our ministry inside Zimbabwe, but please do continue to pray for our field workers and the evangelists, pastors and teachers whom we are serving and equipping. Pray also for the impact of the tonnes of Gospel literature which we are distributing throughout Zimbabwe.
The only hope for Zimbabwe is sincere Repentance, Biblical Reformation and Spiritual Revival. We tend to get the governments we deserve. An immoral and dishonest people get a wicked and corrupt government. Many in Zimbabwe supported Mugabe even as he was massacring the Matabele and stealing farms from productive White farmers. Only as the economy has collapsed, and their jobs and livelihoods have suffered, have the bulk of Zimbabweans turned against Mugabe. There needs to be an honest admission of the selfishness, greed, covetousness and malice which is at the root of this disaster. Zimbabwe needs to repent before God and rebuild their nation on Biblical Principles.
PRAYER AND ACTION NEEDED
Persistent prayer, publicity and pressure provide protection for the persecuted.(Luke 18:1-7) Please distribute copies of this newsletter to friends and family and at your church. Pray for the Christians suffering in Zimbabwe. Mobilise your congregation and Bible study group to pray. And write to your elected representative to urge decisive political and economic pressure to be brought to bear against the Communist ZANU regime in Zimbabwe. Encourage your church to support missions of mercy to the suffering Christians in Zimbabwe. You could also phone, fax or write to your nearest Zimbabwe embassy to protest against their racist and lawless policies of oppression.
“Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause for all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9
Dr. Peter Hammond is the author of Holocaust In Rwanda, In the Killing Fields of Mozambique and Faith Under Fire In Sudan.
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town, South Africa