As the shepherds of the people we, church leaders of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ), the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC), and the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), express our deep concern over the deteriorating political, security, economical and human rights situation in Zimbabwe following the March 29,2008 national elections.
Before the elections, we issued statements urging Zimbabweans to conduct themselves peacefully and with tolerance towards those who held different views and political affiliations from one’s own. After the elections, we issued statements commending Zimbabweans for the generally peaceful and politically mature manner in which they conducted themselves before, during and soon after the elections.
Reports that are coming through to us from our churches and members throughout the country indicate that the peaceful environment has, regrettably, changed:
Given the political uncertainty, anxiety and frustration created by the Zimbabwe Electoral commission (ZEC’s) failure to release the results of the presidential poll 4 weeks after polling day:
o Organized violence perpetrated against individuals, families, and communities who are accused of campaigning or voting for the ‘wrong’ political party in the March 29, 2008 elections has been unleashed throughout the country, particularly in the country side and in some high density urban areas. People are being abducted, tortured, humiliated by being asked to repeat slogans of the political party they are not alleged not to support, ordered to attend mass meetings where they are told they voted for the “wrong” candidate and should never repeat it in the run-off election for president, and, in some cases people are murdered.
o The deterioration in the humanitarian situation is plummeting at a frightful pace. The cost of living has gone beyond the reach of the majority of our people. There is widespread famine in most parts of the countryside on account of poor harvests and delays in the process of importing maize from neighbouring countries. The shops are empty and basic food stuffs are unavailable. Victims of organized torture who are ferried to hospital find little solace as the hospitals have no drugs or medicine to treat them.
As the shepherds of the people, we appeal:
We call on all Zimbabweans and on all friends of Zimbabwe to continue to pray for our beautiful nation. As the shepherds of God’s flock, we shall continue to speak on behalf of Zimbabwe’s suffering masses and we pray that God’s will be done.
We remain God’s humble servants:
The Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ)
The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC)
The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC)