Looming Crisis in Zimbabwe

General April 27, 2008

Media Release

Contact: Christian Alliance and The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa.

Rev Promise: Manceda- Christian Alliance. 0711223110

Rev Moss Ntlha ( The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa) – 0828098533; 011 403 1228

Introduction

As an Alliance of Christian leaders across Zimbabwe, coming from mainline churches as well as Pentecostal and evangelical churches, we are gravely concerned by the events currently taking place in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s Harmonized Elections were held on the 29th of March 2008 six days has elapsed and yet the full results are yet to be announced. This raises the tension in the nation precariously close to a violent eruption not dissimilar to Kenya or worse.

We are deeply concerned by the conspicuous similarity of the current flow of events with those that took place in Kenya following their December 2007. It is important to note that the delay in announcing official results, allegations of vote rigging and the subsequent premature declaration of victory by the Kenyan opposition were key in fuelling the tension and the ultimate violence that erupted. In this regard we wish to recommend to SADC countries and the AU to put in place measures to mitigate against a possible outbreak of violence.

In the light of this as churches in Zimbabwe partnering with other churches in the region observe as follows:

  1. The people’s plight: every passing day prolongs the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe many of whom have already voted by leaving the country to seek refugee in neighboring states. We are concerned that in the event of eruption of violence, the suffering of ordinary people will be compounded. It is unlikely that political elites from both sides will be among casualties of such violence.

  1. The role of Zimbabwe government.

Given that high profile commanders in the security establishment in Zimbabwe have vowed not to salute any other head of state except the current incumbent the probability of violence is very high. The fact that the opposition has actually won the parliamentary elections such irresponsible utterances are to be condemned by peace loving people of the region. Correctly, the SADC region has expressed itself on the matter. Such comments expose the lack of commitment to and respect of democracy and its institutions.

We would like to commend the people of Zimbabwe for the peaceful way in which they conducted themselves during the whole period of the elections given that the environment was highly in favour of the ruling party. All objective observers have expressed serious reservations about various aspects about the management of these elections.

  1. As churches we believe that the people of Zimbabwe have suffered for too long! The electoral process is the only means by which they can effect much needed change. We call upon the government to resist the temptation to steal these elections. This will be a violation of the will of the people, adding to the sins of ZANU PF against the people of Zimbabwe. To mention a few of these, we recall the following:

In conclusion, we call upon the Christian community, the South Africa government and the people of South Africa in general to be in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe. This implies the following:

§ A demonstration of good neighborliness instead of xenophobic outbursts.

§ To strongly urge their government to seize this kairos moment to exert such pressure as is possible to bring swift closure to the Zimbabwean nightmare

§ Accompanying the people of Zimbabwe in prayer as they work for lasting solutions to the challenges they face.