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Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Exposing false church leaders in Zimbabwe" by Nicholas Mada.

“An ungodly man digs up evil, and it is on his lips like a burning fire." Proverbs 16.27 Norbert Kunonga’s relationship with Robert Mugabe is a clear sign of an ungodly Bishop of a church teaming up with a ruthless dictator. The Bishop has dug his own grave and his end is going to be disastrous just like all who have been close to the ruler.

Why then do we have many such church leaders in Zimbabwe? I am not judging them but am worried about these false and manipulating church leaders who are conning our long suffering relatives. Church leaders are supposed to be the shepherds of the people but instead many of them in Zimbabwe are enriching themselves using God’s name. This is misleading and must be exposed now rather than later.

Let us focus on the trend of Mugabe using his cronies in government departments to corrupt people. The police force and the CIO under Chihuri and Mabhunda respectively are well connected to churches. The question now is what is the population that such churches lead and what is the influence of such loyalists to Mugabe who have killed innocent people all these years? Constable Oripa from Matapi is one good example of those used by church man Chihuri to torment people. These church men are working right against what they claim to be. Again, Kunonga is a new recruit of Zanu PF and he will do anything possible to mislead his followers in order to get a farm. Zanufication of Zimbabwe by Mugabe. This is nonsense. Zimbabweans, don't be cowards, stand up for your own rights.

I believe church leaders must help big crowds and improve their daily lives. Instead these people are used to uplift the wealth levels of these Zimbabwean church leaders. They must all be exposed now rather than later. These high profile church leaders in Zimbabwe have used our people for too long and this must come to an end now. Once they get what they want they discard their followers like waste.

The main agenda of these church leaders is to be honored and respected like Jesus. How can they be compared to the savior of the people when they are just opportunists? This is insane. They preach militant Zanu PF dirty politics and torture the same people they want to be their followers. These rulers arouse fear within a society and people live like animals in Zimbabwe. Many Christians in Zimbabwe will acknowledge my point here that they are being brainwashed by Mugabe’s preachers in these so called God’s congregations. There has been very serious people’s behavior manipulation by Zanu PF through many churches in the country. Inventory of all church leaders who got farms from Mugabe must be revealed to the public.Then it will be up to the public to deal with them.

There are differences between preaching by bishops and brain damage by Mugabe but both have been steadily moving pretty close. Manipulating and controlling followers for the benefit of church leaders and Robert Mugabe is the order of the day in the politics of Zanu PF. There is no spiritual gain by Christians here.” Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit, but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance." Proverbs 28:10.

Zimbabweans are not a docile people but we have been used to destroy, divide, and fail to function as a society. This has been Mugabe’s strategy and Lookout Masuku said that during his last days in bed. Mugabe has been condemned right from the beginning but most have not opened their minds.

We have failed to liberate ourselves as a people and are the reason we are blaming Thabo Mbeki today. My personal worry (and I believe of many too) is when Zimbabweans are going to stop such people like these church leaders to manipulate them? When are church leaders going to know they are being manipulated by Mugabe for his personal survival? Why do Zimbabweans remain aloof when the country is on the cliffs? Is it known by Zimbabweans in the Diaspora and the international community that Mugabe is on a country wide human destruction? If it is known why are we not coming together now rather than later? Well, my own answer is that everybody in the country including the so called church bishops, pastors, elders, ministers, prophets, founders, Sunday school teachers, deacons, and the likes of Kunonga, Chihuri, and Mabhunda are all involved in manipulating Zimbabweans in and out of the country and Mugabe is doing the same to them.

Let me tell Robert Mugabe and his bunch of thugs and opportunists followers that through out history, man’s efforts to ruin one another’s behavior have not been successful. Mugabe’s ambitions to destroy Zimbabwe must be well recorded for history purposes in our country.

Nicholas Nickson Mada (

Monday, December 17, 2007

"Church needs new, innovative ways to confront Mugabe" says Sheunesu Hove


QUEENSLAND, Australia – This article is in response to an article carried on ZimOnline on Monday highlighting the protest by Anglican Archbishop Dr John Sentamu. First of all I am in support of the Bishop's action. I share his concern, like every one else, about the situation in Zimbabwe.

We seem to be all concerned about the human suffering, human rights violations, bad governance and a lot more of the current problems in Zimbabwe.

It is good for a man of God to show that where people are suffering, you do not sit back and say one day God will bless them and remove their suffering. You make a step, no matter how small.
That then becomes the beginning of a big process. Bravo His Lordship.

Even in the Bible, (Mat. 5:23-35; John 4:20) we read that man cannot be reconciled with God unless and until they are reconciled with each other first. As such where there is conflict among human beings God may not even receive our sacrifices or offerings until we reconcile first.
However, because my Lord Bishop is not a politician, and I guess even if he has no intention of becoming one, that does not absolve him from making sure that God's people are not subjected to human suffering by the actions of politicians who purport to be concerned about the same people they make to suffer.

He may not be alone, as I believe there are other clergymen and women who share the same views and sentiments, but have not come out in the open yet. Politicians, more so leaders like President Mugabe, have for a long time found solace in the doctrine of Sovereignty.

Although it is one of the fundamental elements of a modern nation state and is written in black and white in the UN Charter that no state is allowed to interfere in another state's internal affairs, of late it has been subject to abuse and misuse.

This abuse and misuse is meant to legitimise criminality through state action, especially crimes against humanity. Such is the situation in Zimbabwe. For example, the use of political affiliation and loyalty in food distribution is a typical example of structural violence by the authorities.
Sovereignty has become a political rhetoric President Mugabe remembers very well every time he is given an opportunity to address an audience.

Even funeral gatherings have not been spared either. Unfortunately, the UN Charter does not provide for protection of the abuse or misuse of the same provision by those who head different states. Had there been such a provision, we could have put it to test in the Zimbabwean situation. However, it has become a wish which will not benefit the beggars anywhere.
Nation states exist in an environment characterised by lack of a supra government over other governments. That in itself leaves citizens of every state at the mercy of their heads of state.
Such is our situation, not only in Zimbabwe, but the world over. Mugabe uses the politics of identity and memory very well and carefully.

It is a deliberate and calculated move to strip people of their true identity and then give them a preferred political identity cemented by frequent and programmed propaganda based on politics of memory. For example, political jingles played every thirty minutes on radio and television and the frequent reference to the war of liberation which has become the norm in speeches at every level.

Be that as it may, there is nothing wrong in referring to that important epoch. But if it becomes a shield and smokescreen for poor governance, then it becomes cheap propaganda reminiscent of a regime devoid of new ideas to provide solutions to the national crisis.

Any approach to find solutions to the situation in Zimbabwe cannot therefore be a parallel process as it serves only to play into the hands of the regime. I agree with the Anglican Archbishop, Dr John Sentamu when he says President Mugabe has “taken people’s identity” and “cut it into pieces’’.

A people without identity are a people lost, reconstructed and dehumanised. It is a people with confusion and cannot say who they are. They suffer from an identity crisis. As such they are vulnerable to abuse by those who purport to give them an identity. They can only identify themselves differently in different situations, but never permanently.

It is good that the clergyman identified that and realised the need to symbolically show the world what he thinks, can do and will remain doing. However, I do not to agree with the Archbishop when he said he will wear the dog collar until Mugabe gets out of power or is gone. That statement in itself is political and hence confrontational.

It is a statement that can only come from those who have political ambitions and are interested in politics. That approach then ceases to be a non-violent one and therefore may fail the test of time just like all other confrontational approaches have failed.

The opposition in Zimbabwe and the civil society organisations are in a better position to tell my Lord Bishop that Mugabe is the champion of confrontational approaches.

He has always won the confrontational tournaments since Zimbabwe gained independence. We have experienced on numerous occasions boycotts and stay away, but none of them have yielded any tangible results to date.

In every case Mugabe was the winner, may be not only a winner, but became even more hardened. I would rather the Archbishop focus on bringing change by combining effort with other clergymen and approach the regime from an international church Initiative using constructive dialogue.

Such an approach can then strengthen the shaky and seemingly ineffective initiative by the Zimbabwean churches, which has become known as 'The Zimbabwe We Want'.

This approach has been bed-ridden for some time and it may benefit very much from the nourishment brought about by an international church initiative.

This gives those concerned with helping the people in Zimbabwe, as well as the eventual beneficiaries, an understanding of the framework of the political realm in Zimbabwe.
As it is now the regime is prepared for any confrontation from any angle.

John Buchan once likened the building of peace to fishing, ‘it is the pursuit of what is elusive, but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope’.

I believe and have hope that a solution can be found for the crisis we have in Zimbabwe. It may appear elusive and for as long as we want a quick fix, then it will even appear impossible.
Peace is a philosophy and, in fact, a paradigm with its own values and precepts, which provide a framework within which to discern, understand, analyze and regulate all human relationships in order to create an integrated, holistic and humane social order.

Let’s not do more harm than good. It is good to be very careful when approaching a trapped leopard which has not eaten for days. All I want to say is that dialogue in this case is the only way forward.

Let’s try and engage each other as a way to find solutions to problems. Lets give dialogue a chance.

* Sheunesu Hove.

Hove is a Rotary World Peace Fellow, studying for a Masters in International Studies at the University of Queensland in Australia. He can be contacted at -

Monday, September 17, 2007



Zimbabwe needs Jesus, - CZI chief
By Jennifer Dube
ZIMBABWE needs Jesus," the head of one of the most influential business organisations in the country, said last week. "I call upon all Zimbabweans to pray that God bails us out of the problems we are facing.
"Only Godly solutions will heal this economy, otherwise if man's solutions were what we needed, we would have recovered by now."
Callisto Jokonya was not addressing a born-again congregation, but speaking to Standardbusiness on what he saw as the next strategy to economic recovery after the prices and income turbulence of the last few weeks.
Jokonya, the president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, said only "Godly solutions" would be potent enough to ameliorate the economic meltdown, triggered by the 2000 land reform programme and the economic and political fallout that ensued.
A staunch supporter of the government's economic policy, Jokonya was asked for the CZI's assessment of the impact of the 20% mark-up regime for prices imposed by the government in the past two weeks.
Last July, the government forced business to reduce prices by 50% — to where they were on 18 June. It publicly accused them of colluding with the West in plotting a "regime change", which business rejected out of hand. This was followed by a blanket freeze on all price hikes.
At the onset of government's pricing campaign, CZI hailed the measure, urging all companies to guard against offending the government.
Their acquiescence was widely criticised by economic and political analysts, who predicted — accurately, as it turned out — that it would lead to immense survival problems for the companies who complained of being forced to do business at a loss.
In one of its policy U-turns two weeks ago, the government allowed business to increase prices by 20%.
A snap survey by Standardbusiness showed no significant impact of the 20% mark-up as shop shelves remained empty while more companies, especially in the baking industry, closed shop, citing uneconomic prices.
Last week, Jokonya refused to answer questions relating to the economic "fruits" of both the 20% mark-up regime and the recently unveiled budget.
But he insisted the country needed to pray. "I have no answers to that. All I have to say is that everybody in business, the government sector, civil society and labour should ask God for solutions to this country," he said.
Even the Tripartite Negotiating Forum was incapable of coming up with solutions to the problems, the CZI boss said.
"I believe God is the only one who can save us from the challenges we are facing. Please write that. Also tell (Trevor) Ncube to write that in his Mail and Guardian newspaper because I have to encourage all Zimbabweans in this regard," he said.
In a written response to questions from Standardbusiness, the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe said they were "happy" that the government had finally come to the realisation that the arbitrary prices they had set were not helpful in the restoration of business viability which should result in a supply side response for goods and services in the economy.
"Employers are happy with recent developments but are sad that in a lot of cases it is coming a too little, too late.
"After the losses suffered from the Price Control Regulations, most businesses have not yet recovered sufficiently to get back into full production," the statement said.
They said although the price blitz was in contravention of some of the provisions of the TNF protocols signed on 1 June 2007, they believed social dialogue would finally yield answers for the country's economic woes.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Apart from bad judgment, Ncube is a hero!!


By Mthulisi Mathuthu
NEWS of Archbishop Pius Ncube's resignation would have come as no surprise to those who have been following the cleric's story since he was sucked into a very unpious sex scandal.
Whatever the outcome of the pending adultery lawsuit against him is going to be, it goes without saying that whoever planned the whole exercise of filming the bishop's bedroom exploits had done their homework to the last detail.
The obvious motive of this operation was to cause enough damage through a splash of a glut of photographs and videos that would cast a permanent shadow over the bishop's history and future work.
It is not wholly wrong then to say the archbishop has done the honourable thing to resign and save his Church from shame, and to win back public support that would have permanently evaporated if he had chosen to be his granite self in the face of a well-orchestrated plot executed with breathtaking skill by the state media and Robert Mugabe's security men.
To us, the bishop has paid his price. It is wrong to bed a married woman, and even more scandalous for a man of the cloth to conduct himself in a manner such as the bishop is alleged to have done.
Be that as it may, the effort to cast a permanent shadow over the cleric's record collapses of its own accord. Here is a man, who despite his own faults has remained consistent in his criticism of an evil regime that has never, even for a day, cared about the suffering of the country's poor.
What he condemned more than 20 years ago remains prevalent up to this day. In the early 1980's, Ncube was amongst the clerics who confronted President Mugabe with evidence of state terror against the ordinary people in the Midlands and the Matabeleland regions.
He remained resolute right up to this date in his conviction that Mugabe's regime was not about prosperity nor was it was about liberation. For standing up for us all, Ncube took fierce criticism and shocking name-calling, including from the First Person himself – Robert Mugabe. Mugabe labelled the clerics as "a band of Jeremiahs' prophesying for Joshua Nkomo".
Of particular concern to Ncube and those like him was the state's penchant for blood spilling, blackmail and deceit as a measure to destroy political opposition. Also of concern was the universal silence in the face of clear-cut state terrorism.
For the archbishop to have chosen that path at a time when many of today's so-called pro-democracy activists were praising Mugabe, proved he was and still is a brave and courageous man.
Today Mugabe's quarrelsome-brand of politics remains firmly in place and on the march. Nothing has changed, only that the players have changed here and there. It's still the same old way of thuggishly silencing dissent and diverting public attention from the real issues.
Thanks to Ncube, his colleagues then and the opposition of that time, we trace the current wave of universal scepticism about Mugabe's rule -- for what is it which today's human rights defenders and the opposition politicians are saying which Ncube didn't question yesterday?
The bishop may have fallen, but his word hasn't and will never fall for it shall remain true that Mugabe has not been good for Zimbabwe.
It shall remain true that we have today in Zimbabwe some clerics who are working hand in glove with a discredited government to undermine the march of democracy.
It shall remain true that somewhere in the din of the clamour for change is hidden the sinister voices of those who are in the government's payroll, some of whom may have played a role in the filming of the bishop's bedroom -- itself a gross abuse of a person's right to privacy.
Historians will in future look at the story of Ncube as a brave, naïve man. Brave because he stood for the truth at a time when Mugabe was a "hero" for many who today pretend they never fantasised about him as a democrat.
He refused to sail with the wind and listen to the lily-livered clerics who chose to remain silent when Mugabe's cohorts were plunging terror into the twin towers of freedom and liberty.
No doubt today his fall will be used by his enemies within the ecumenical movement as a reason to fear the truth which is what the government wants. Naïve? Yes. Here is a man whose fall was triggered by nothing but naiveté -- the failure to notice that the moment you take things to the sewer with Mugabe, you should gird your loins and watch out even in your toilet.
Mugabe has not only made his name in the sewers -- he literally resides there. There is no gainsaying that the bishop's words had the blessing of the world's powerful institutions, his church, politicians and the governments and the ordinary people of Zimbabwe. All he needed was to be intelligent enough not to slip into Mugabe's residence -- the sewer. But he did, and he has paid for it.
Yet his word shall forever remain in the mouths of all those chasing justice. His song we will sing even at the risk of being labelled 'Jeremiahs'.
He is a first class human rights activist, a great man who did wrong and paid the ultimate price. When will Mugabe finally be accountable?
Mthulisi Mathuthu is The New Zimbabwe news editor and can be contacted on e-mail:


Friday, July 6, 2007




Mugabe wants to stay, not save face
By Mary Revesai

Last updated: 07/04/2007 21:08:14

MY FAVOURITE cleric in the whole of Africa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, has been pondering on what can be done to get Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe to give up power and allow new blood to take over leadership of the country.
The outspoken Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who has spoken out regularly in solidarity with the ordinary people in Zimbabwe, suggested that Mugabe, who has been the country's sole head of state since independence in 1980, needed facing-saving options to enable him to accept the possibility of stepping down.
Tutu suggested that a change of leadership in Britain where Gordon Brown had replaced Mugabe's nemesis, Tony Blair, could provide an opportunity for Mugabe to climb down from his position of clinging to power at all costs, including the collapse of the economy and the pauperisation of the population.
"A change of cast might have an important bearing on how things develop. I would hope that there might just be a way of providing face-savers that would enable people to exit without feeling that they had lost a great deal of personal stature…"
The Archbishop's wise counsel would work in any other situation and with any other leader but it is most unlikely to work with Zimbabwe's 83-year old authoritarian.
Mugabe is tenaciously clinging to power because, in my opinion, he wants to remain in charge until he drops dead. I believe that he would ignore the most subtle face-saver even if it was thrust into his face (pun unintended) and he has, in fact, passed up many opportunities when he could have retired honourably.
The very reason he is currently citing as justification for not allowing a successor to be identified within Zanu PF, that he cannot leave the ruling party in disarray as a result of intense jockeying for position by the various factions, would in fact have been one of the best reasons to give others their turn to lead.
If Mugabe were prepared to look at the bigger picture, he would have told his colleagues that in the interests of preserving party unity, he would step down but before that he would use his influence and prestige to defuse infighting within the party and thus help to build consensus about who should take over and how that successor should be chosen. He would have had to be actively involved in defusing the raging tensions and divisions to ensure that he left the organisation and government in good hands.
Mandela did it seamlessly when he handed over to Thabo Mbeki after serving only one term. Tony Blair may have been pushed to quit but all the same he did the right thing by passing the baton on to Brown in recognition of the mood within New Labour. In contrast, Mugabe is determined to ignore all signs of resistance to his continuing monopolisation of leadership.
The most telling sign that Mugabe simply does not want to go is the way he has used divide-and-rule tactics to create fear, panic and uncertainty within his party so that he could use the resulting mayhem as his reason for holding on to power. This has been clear in the manner in which he has attacked both the Mujuru and Mnangagwa factions, at one stage comparing aspirants to the position of state president to witches "standing at the door" to hasten his departure.
After declaring during an interview on the occasion of his 83rd birthday in February that there were "no vacancies" in the presidium, speculation is rife that Mugabe is the mastermind behind the recent alleged coup plot to oust him, in which Mnangagwa was implicated.
Cynics believe that the coup plot is a Mugabe ruse designed to demonstrate that both the candidates touted as his possible successors, Joice Mujuru and Emmerson Mnangagwa, cannot be trusted and therefore he should remain in charge to hold the party together. If Mugabe was ready to go, he could have used the passing into law of the 17th Amendment to the constitution which was said to mark the completion of the land reform programme. He could have told his party and the nation at large that now that his dream of empowering blacks through the redistribution of land had come true, he would retire.
Mugabe also has his advanced age as a ready and honorable reason for handing over power to new blood. Mandela used it to great effect and won universal admiration when he announced that he would step down because an 80-year old man had no business to be still president of a country. For whatever reason, Mugabe has in fact done the opposite, mentioning regularly that he is a "young old man" with the bones of a 28-year old although he will be 90-years-old if he remains in power for another six years as widely feared.
Recently, Mugabe's younger brother, Donatus, died at the age of 80. At the funeral, Mugabe eulogized Donatus as having been the family patriarch because of the elder Mugabe's involvement in politics.
If he wanted to let go, Mugabe could have won the respect of the nation by announcing that he was quitting politics to finally assume the role of patriarch within the family. It did not necessarily have to be true but it could have provided him with an honourable way to leave the political scene without losing face. Some observers have speculated that Mugabe is so determined to remain at the helm because he fears that the fate of Charles Taylor, who is being prosecuted for war crimes and crimes against humanity at The Hague, could befall him too. Mugabe has the Gukurahundi genocide in which 20 000 civilians were butchered in Matabeleland and the Midlands in the 1980s, hanging over his head. Since then, he has been accused of sanctioning more human rights abuses and killings.
It is therefore difficult to believe that the fear of prosecution in his dotage is the reason Mugabe is doing everything under the sun to remain in power. I want to argue that if this were indeed the reason, Mugabe would be making sure that he did not perpetrate any more atrocities against the populace and try to atone for past misdeeds by being more humane in the twilight of his life. But he has done the opposite and has continued openly sanctioning state-sponsored violence against political opponents, even boasting before fellow African leaders at a Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) emergency summit that the police had indeed battered Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai and other opposition leaders three months ago.
Last year the police similarly brutalised leaders of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and Mugabe poked fun at the victims saying the police would continue to thrash those who "provoked" them. He was equally insensitive when the police recently targeted lawyers and tortured a group protesting the arrest of colleagues. The victims of this latest police brutality included Beatrice Mutetwa, the first woman president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe. Common sense would dictate that if Mugabe was clinging to power because he was apprehensive about his fate after leaving office, he would be careful not to commit any more human rights abuses.
Mugabe's case seems to be a straightforward case of power corrupting absolutely. The man cannot simply imagine anyone else being good enough to govern the country while he is still alive. The many complex wars and battles he is still determined to wage at his advanced age when he should be taking things easy, do not paint a picture of someone who would leave voluntarily under any circumstances.
Mary Revesai is a New columnist and writes from Harare. Her column will appear here every Tuesday


Friday, June 29, 2007

Tutu says Mugabe needs face-saving options!!!


By David Clarke
LONDON (Reuters) - South African Nobel peace prize laureate Desmond Tutu said on Wednesday Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe needed face-saving options for there to be a chance of him stepping aside.
Tutu said the replacement of Tony Blair by Gordon Brown as prime minister of Britain, Zimbabwe's former colonial ruler, could help the situation but much depended on negotiations to resolve the crisis being mediated by South Africa.
"A change of cast might have an important bearing on how things develop," Tutu told Reuters in an interview.
"I would hope that there might just be a way of providing face savers that would enable people to exit without feeling that they had lost a great deal of personal stature," he said.
"We need to provide that for the sake of the people and it may be that (Britain's) new prime minister just might have a way of saying things that would be slightly more acceptable."
Relations between Britain and Zimbabwe have reached a low. Mugabe, 83 and in power since independence in 1980, has accused Britain of trying to overthrow him and he threatened on Wednesday to seize foreign companies.
Britain has criticised Mugabe for his crackdown on the opposition Movement for Democratic Change and accused him of driving the southern African state to economic ruin.
Tutu, who has been an outspoken critic of human rights violations by Mugabe's government, was not specific about the kind of face savers that might work. 
He said: "I think they have to go and speak with the actors but it is finding a way of letting him maybe step down in a way that still leaves him with some dignity and self respect."
While Western nations have called for a tough African response to end the crisis, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has plotted its own diplomatic course, calling for more dialogue and an end to Western sanctions.
"(South African) President (Thabo) Mbeki is the facilitator, the mediator, appointed by SADC and he's had some of (the Zimbabweans) come to Pretoria and they've had exchanges," said Tutu.
"I have been told on very good authority that I think the two sides set themselves June 30 as the deadline for something significant," he said.
"It's a delicate thing and you are constantly having to determine whether it is better to keep quiet for a while so that you don't muddy the waters.
"And so much hinges on how President Mugabe reacts and then you know that the fate of many, many, many hangs on how he operates. So I wouldn't want to jeopardise the whole thing. Let's wait."


Tuesday, June 19, 2007



Zimbabwe (MNN/SVM) --
Three pastors were arrested in Masvingo in Zimbabwe by the Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) on Sunday, June 10, for distributing toys and candy to children.
Rev. Sonykis Chimbuya, Pastor Peter Bondai, and Pastor Mugondi were detained and questioned by state security agents.
According to Salem Voice Ministries, in a bizarre case highlighting deep levels of paranoia in government, the agents of the Central Intelligence Organization accused the pastors of distributing campaign material for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which is Zimbabwe's biggest opposition party.
Pastor Peter Bondai and Mugondi were released after they were interrogated for more than three hours, while Pastor Chimbuya was kidnapped and dumped along the Masvingo-Great Zimbabwe highway hours after his arrest.
"We are living in constant fear after the harassment at the hands of the CIO agents," Rev. Sonykis Chimbuya to SVIM news.
"They just came to us and picked us one after the other. They asked us about the material we were distributing to various church organizations," they reported.
"One of us was kidnapped and was only released after they had proved beyond doubt that the items we were distributing were in fact toys," They added.
The CIO agents also demanded that the pastors write down their sermons and present them to the secret agents before delivery.
State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa could not be reached for comment on the matter.
President Robert Mugabe last month warned church leaders to steer clear of politics after Catholic bishops denounced the Zimbabwean government over its human rights record.


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Sunday, June 17, 2007



Zimbabwe bishop sees change ahead
Evangelical Lutheran Church leader, visiting local synod: Nation at climax of its woes.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
By Renée K. Gadoua
Staff writer
The presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe heads home today after renewing a five-year agreement for a relationship with the local Evangelical Lutheran church.
The church's local synod began its companion partnership with the church in Zimbabwe in 1990. Since then, several delegations from each community have visited their partner synod. Bishop Marie Jerge, of the church's Upstate synod, was part of a local delegation that visited Zimbabwe in 2003.
The renewal of the agreement took place during the local denomination's annual meeting June 3 to 5 in Rochester, attended by Bishop Naison Shava, from Zimbabwe.
"We want to create those connections that already exist in the world but we may not be aware of," Jerge said.
The local synod includes about 80,000 people in 198 churches from Poughkeepsie in Dutchess County to the Canadian border and from the Massachusetts border to Lake Erie.
Shava said the international community needs to understand Zimbabwe's history to understand its current conditions.
The leader of Zimbabwe is President Robert Mugabe, 83, who became the country's first black leader in 1980. Since then, the southern African nation has devolved into a country with high inflation, food and fuel shortages, and accusations of human rights abuses.
Despite international criticism of Mugabe's leadership, Shava is optimistic about Zimbabwe.
Here are excerpts from an interview Tuesday with The Post-Standard.
What's happening in Zimbabwe?
We have gone through a lot of stages of political conflicts and, sometimes, some violence. We have learned through the process. We can say Zimbabweans are a peace-loving community who have learned fighting does not benefit anyone.
How's the economy?
We had a problem with the World Bank, and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) withdrew support, making it very difficult. We had a problem servicing our debt with the IMF. There is no confidence in the economy. Inflation continues to fly high.
How do economic conditions affect the people?
The level of income does not grow the same way (as inflation). If you are eating a loaf of bread a day you have to reduce to half a loaf because you cannot afford it.
Even the people who are working are considered poor. People must rely on subsidies from their relatives or friends outside the country.
How does the land redistribution following independence play into the conditions?
It has caused a straining of international relations. Eighty percent of the land in Zimbabwe is good land and is occupied by 20 percent who happen to be mainly the white community. Eighty percent of the people occupy 20 percent of the land.
This was the result of colonization. It has not been addressed since independence.
Is Mugabe to blame for these problems?
He may have had his errors. There are also areas where he has made it well for the country.
The first 10 or 15 years of his leadership, Zimbabwe's economy was growing. Then he was behaving, in the eyes of the international world, in a funny way.
He is a person who is educated. Because of his frankness, he has created more problems for himself.
What do church leaders think of him?
We are in dialogue with him. Confrontation is not an option.
Didn't Roman Catholic bishops in Zimbabwe call for Mugabe to step down?
There are individual Catholic bishops who would like to play the hero. Their criticism, demonizing Mugabe, does not help.
It would not make sense to force him out of office. It would just create anarchy.
What will Zimbabwe be like in five years?
We're at the climax of our problems. In the next two years, we should be able to see change. We don't know what the solutions are, but, as a church, we have to have hope.
Renee K. Gadoua can be reached at or 470-2203.


Thursday, May 24, 2007


P. Wakatama gets emotional
Comment published in the Standard Newspaper

by Pius Wakatama

Sun 9-Oct-2005

A few months ago, I was invited to a private dinner along with a number of eminent Zimbabweans from various walks of life. Among the guests was none other than my good friend and fellow journalist, Dr Ibbo Mandaza, the ardent Zanu PF supporter and favourite government media analyst and apologist. Some foreign dignitaries were also present. The discussion at the table was about the future of Zimbabwe.
Some voiced a lot of platitudes about the need for Zimbabweans to work together and so forth. Others talked about how the opposition and the ruling party were engaged in talks to bring an end the political and economic crisis the country is facing. One or two talked glowingly about the "economic turnaround" that the country was into and painted a picture of a rosy future indeed.
I begged to differ with all of them.
 I said there was no hope for Zimbabwe unless Zanu PF went out of power or underwent a radical metamorphosis which was rather unlikely. I said: "A hungry man is an angry man. If the economic situation gets any worse the people might resort to violence."
 Mandaza differed with me rather strongly.
He accused me of not looking at the situation rationally and of being too emotional. He went on to describe how good and capable the Zanu PF government was at meeting the national challenges and working hard to make Zimbabwe a success.
 He, however, admitted that some mistakes had been made.
 At first, I felt stung by Mandaza's remarks.
 I wanted to reply with some rather caustic and uncomplimentary comments about his party but thought the better of it. I didn't want to spoil the dinner. These days it is not often that I get invited to a free and sumptuous meal like the one we had. I therefore didn't want to ruin my chances of being invited again.
Also on reflection, I concluded that the good doctor was right. I am indeed an emotional type of person. And come to think of it, there is nothing wrong in being emotional.
 Emotion is only undesirable when it arises out of irrational subjectivity such as when someone cries for no apparent reason or lashes out in anger without due cause.
 Otherwise emotion is a basic and necessary human expression of feeling.

I tend to become emotional when I rationally consider the ill-treatment of the powerless by the powerful bullies as is happening in Zimbabwe today. I become emotional when I survey the human and physical ruins brought about by "Operation Murambatsvina" and the unnecessary suffering it has brought to thousands who are now homeless.
 I become emotional when I see poor vendors who are trying to make an honest living by selling bananas, tomatoes and other vegetables being hounded and arrested when Zanu PF chefs are openly selling scarce petrol, maize meal, sugar, bread and other essentials on the black market with impunity.
 Indeed, I become emotional when I see how Zanu PF chefs and their cronies and relatives have carved out the best lands for themselves just like the white colonisers did. The colonisers were better because they took mostly virgin land and developed it. These shameless beggars wait until the white farmer's produce is ripe.
They then swoop down to steal the farm, the implements and the ready-for-the-market produce. I get emotionally charged and mad when poor peasants who were allocated land and have been trying to eke out a living from the soil for the last three years, are being chased away to make way for gainfully employed civil servants and businessmen with mansions in town.
 Who would not be incensed at how shameless and crooked liars talk of lofty plans to help the poor when they are devoid of any feelings of love for their fellow men whatsoever? The only love they exhibit is the love of power and filthy lucre. The only feelings they show are feelings of hatred for those who dare question their legitimacy or right to eat like pigs when the rest of the country goes hungry.
 How can any true and caring Zimbabwean not become emotional and mad when the country's director of social welfare brazenly says Zimbabwe does not need international food aid? He actually said the majority of the people are able to buy food on their own thus invalidating the need for an international appeal for food aid. I wish I could call a rally of the starving masses in Dzivarasekwa and introduce him to them as the man who told willing donors that they didn't need food aid. "Vaimuita kanyama-kanyama."- They would tear him to pieces right there and then.
 The hunger and suffering there is pitiful.
 Ask the churches and non-governmental organisations who are trying to feed them with what little food they get if you want to know the truth.

I am not ashamed of being emotional because I am in the best company. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was very emotional. One day as he approached Jerusalem and thought of the evil in the place he wept like a child. He lamented the ignorance of the people as to what could bring about real peace. The Bible says that he entered the temple area and began driving out those engaged in nefarious activities.
As they scattered in all directions some must have thought that they were being attacked by a lunatic. He said to them: "It is written: My house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves'. (Luke 19: 39 - 460. Zimbabwe too, has become a den of thieves.
Yes, Jesus became so emotional because of the wrong doing that He saw that He became violent. Oh, I wish that more people could be moved to become emotional as they see what is happening in our country today. Our children's future is being destroyed before our very eyes. We even rejoice when a son or daughter gets a visa to the much vilified UK, Europe or the United States to start a new life there. Shame on us!

Mandaza rebuked me for being emotional and thought that is an undesirable trait. He himself was an unemotional and able apologist for the government but where is he now? To tell you the truth, I was not surprised at all when I read that he had been unceremoniously kicked out of the Zimbabwe Mirror Group of Newspapers, allegedly by agents of the government he so ably defended. He is now frantically battling to regain control of the business he started through the courts. How the mighty have fallen!
 When I read about Mandaza's ouster I felt really sorry for my fellow scribe. He had worked so hard to set up the newspaper group. However, he should have known what most Zimbabweans know. "Inonzi ZanuPF.
 Ndeyekutamba wakachenjera."
 When playing with Zanu PF one should be very careful because it cannot be trusted. It is like playing with scorpions and vipers. Once you don't toe the line you are finished. My sincere advice to Mandaza is to forget about challenging the government through the courts. He will never win for our judiciary is quite partisan. And if he insists on fighting the powers that be to regain his business, he might end up being incarcerated like former Finance minister, Christopher Kuruneri or he might end up a fugitive in the diaspora like the former Zanu PF central committee member and businessperson, James Makamba. The list of Zanu PF unfortunates who fell out of favour is endless.
The only sensible thing he can do is to cross the floor and team up with those actively opposing Zanu PF hegemony. Mandaza could only have remained at the helm of the Mirror Group by parroting Zanu PF and government propaganda.
 He was tolerated as long as he toed the middle line. But, when he openly went against government propaganda by criticising "Operation Murambatsvina", his fate was sealed. Our government does not tolerate independent thinking, especially by the media.
Those who say that the right of the people to speak out through a free Press is a hallmark of a democratic society are definitely not talking about Zimbabwe. Ours is not a democratic society but a dictatorship.
 Those with ears to hear let them hear!


Friday, May 11, 2007

11 May 2007
The Bishops of the Church of the Province of Central Africa would like to correct the misleading report which appeared in the Herald Newspaper of 20 April, 2007 and other media  giving the impression that the Bishops supported President Mugabe in the crisis facing the country. The Herald Newspaper distorted the Bishops' Pastoral Message issued after their recent Episcopal Synod in Harare, Zimbabwe, held on the 11 – 13th April, 2007. 
Contrary to what the media may have tried to insinuate the position of the Bishops in regard to the situation in Zimbabwe, is that they are concerned and pained at the distressing occurrences that have been taking place in Zimbabwe, especially the deteriorating economy that has rendered the ordinary Zimbabwean unable to make ends meet.  The Bishops by highlighting the economic sanctions in the declining welfare of the people were simply pointing out that this is also a critical factor among others such the violence, especially against, the opposition and civic groups,  corruption and mismanagement which have destroyed many government-run institutions and infrastructure causing tremendous hardships on people's lives in Zimbabwe. 
In this context the Bishops appealed to the government of Zimbabwe to provide a framework for peace by creating a conducive environment for dialogue and tolerance and also called upon the civil society in Zimbabwe to articulate and promote the practice and respect of human dignity by all social and political ways in the building of a culture of governance that respects the sanctity of life. Furthermore, the Bishops urged the church in Zimbabwe to offer an effective pastoral ministry to the downtrodden, to rebuke and warn the nation especially those in positions of authority through a prophetic ministry by calling upon the nation to repentance and renewed relationship with God and our neighbours.
Another misleading impression given by the Herald Newspaper was that the Anglican Bishops Pastoral Message disagreed with the Catholic Bishops' Pastoral Letter published on Easter day, 8 April, 2007, entitled "God hears the Cries of the oppressed[1].  As Bishops of the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa, we   endorse the Catholic Bishops' Pastoral Letter.
The role of the Church is to provide moral and spiritual leadership.  It is therefore  imperative on the Church to always promote that issues of conflict and violence are resolved in a spirit of forgiveness, love and reconciliation.
Issued: 28 April, 2007
             By the Provincial Secretary
             The Rev Fr Eston Dickson Pembamoyo
             Church of the Province of Central Africa


Thursday, May 10, 2007


Zimbabwe: a challenge to the truth


CROYDON - Any critical account of life in Zimbabwe is written off by the government-sponsored media in Zimbabwe as 'propaganda'. 'UK media lies', aimed at securing re-colonisation, poison the minds of potential visitors and investors, blinding them to the peaceful and harmonious reality of life in a wonderful country. If it wasn't for Western countries such as Britain, there wouldn't be any problems to speak of.
Well, I have just returned from a two-week visit to Zimbabwe with a group of 20 people from my Episcopal Area. We began to plan the visit nearly three years ago and became increasingly diffident about it as conditions deteriorated there more recently.
Our fears were not based purely on British media coverage of Zimbabwe, but also on reports we were getting from the country through contacts in the churches at all levels. Our visit, then, afforded a unique opportunity to see for ourselves what is going on there as well as develop our long-standing link with the Diocese of Central Zimbabwe.
The situation looks like this:
• Inflation is well above 3000 per cent and rising, thus making any planning impossible. The official exchange rate was 250 Zim dollars to 1 US dollar; but the parallel rate (on which prices are based) was 16,000 Zim dollars to 1 US dollar. The black market rules.
• Nothing has been repaired for years and the country's infrastructure is collapsing. Constant power cuts, sometimes lasting for days, are interspersed with water shortages. In Gweru, the administrative centre of the Midlands Province, we were without running water for our last five days; in Kadoma, where I preached and presided on Sunday April 22, there has been no running water for two months.
• We saw signs of malnutrition in children, and adults suffering from hunger fatigue. Some of the people we stayed with are normally eating what is called 'zero one zero' -– no breakfast, a basic lunch and nothing in the evening. This year's drought has devastated the maize crop.
• Agricultural land, once so rich and well-farmed, is now largely abandoned. The land-reform process has been catastrophic, not because it was morally wrong in itself (the UK agreed to it), but because it was ill-conceived, appallingly executed and has proved economically disastrous. You don't need a GCSE in economics to know that it could never work.
• Many businesses and industries have closed down or are working at a small percentage of their capability.
• HIV/AIDS is wreaking devastation and life expectancy for a male is now 34 years.
Our visit was designed to give us unique access to ordinary people. Our hosts were generous and hospitable, wanting us to be comfortable and looked after. However, nothing can hide the reality that lies behind this warmth. People are going hungry and are beginning to feel hopeless. One priest said to us, 'You see us walking, but we are dead already'. They are fearful of the authorities and pessimistic about the possibility of next year's elections bringing any change. They end many conversations with: 'We must pray that God's will may be done.' And therein lies a problem.
One of the aspects of Zimbabwean life that is hard to comprehend is the disjunction between 'hope' and responsibility. Many of the people we met hope that radical change will come and their lives improve. But when we said that prayer must be accompanied by action, this was often dismissed. It is clearly easy to be critical from a distance of these people's apparent unwillingness to take responsibility for the changes that are needed (eg voting against Mugabe in 2008), but nevertheless this is a striking feature of many conversations.
Our group comprised eight clergy and 12 lay people of different ages and backgrounds. We had educationalists, medics, a lawyer, IT specialists –- all of us falling in love with Zimbabwe and her people. We spent time together as a group, but were then dispersed to different parts of the Diocese of Central Zimbabwe. Therefore, the picture we built came not from second-hand reports, but from personal experience. Water shortages and power cuts were experienced by all. Hunger was identified by all. Fear of intimidation was discerned by many.
From high-density townships to rural villages, the picture was remarkably consistent.
In the midst of all this the Anglican Church is struggling to keep hope alive. The worship in the churches we visited was vibrant and life-changing. The music was fantastic everywhere we went. People know how to celebrate -– but whilst celebrating their faith and their God, they are not celebrating their circumstances. Priests and people are trying to enable one another to remain faithful under pressure and to have the courage to do what is necessary to bring about change. We met some very brave and good people.
However, the Anglican Church is also hindered in its witness. The scandalous Bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga, dominates the church and makes it impossible for the Church to speak with one voice. He is a Mugabe man and is supported by Bernard Malango, Primate of the Province of Central Africa. Archbishop Malango (who has announced his retirement from the end of 2007) is a 'conservative' Primate who sees sexuality as a moral issue, but appears to see little problem with (presumably, non-moral) matters of financial fraud, incitement to murder and corruption. Kunonga has his support.
Following a recent Provincial Episcopal Synod (April 12) the bishops issued a statement that appeared weak in its demands, as this newspaper reported last week. Yet it clearly called for change in Zimbabwe and, by implication, change in governance and government. Those who have ears to hear will discern in this an encouragement to bring about such change. Even Kunonga signed a plea for change. The regime of Robert Mugabe will end –- all empires do -– and many of those who have climbed on his back will go down with him –- including those who are prepared to let their people suffer in the interests of their private power games.
Our visit has left us with much to reflect upon. The extraordinary faith and spirituality of the people we met reaches out in costly praxis to the hungry, the orphaned and widowed, the sick, the aged and the bereaved -– but how can they speak and act prophetically before people who cannot bear criticism or challenge? How can we best support the ordinary people of Zimbabwe through the networks we have in the churches there? How can we help prepare for the rebuilding of this suffering country in a way that does not patronise, but enables Zimbabwean Christians to re-shape their country and church? How can we most usefully use our resources to support those who will one day be able to offer good models of governance and the exercise of power? How can we most effectively pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ while they suffer in a land waiting for liberation?
And are these observations the result of naïve consumption of British propaganda? No. We saw for ourselves.
The Rt Revd Nicholas Baines is Bishop of Croydon. This article was originally published in the Religious Intelligence. 


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Wednesday, May 9, 2007




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Friday, May 4, 2007


Zimbabwe's Mugabe warns Roman Catholic bishops


HARARE/JOHANNESBURG – President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has warned Roman Catholic bishops in the country that they are on a dangerous path after they criticized his government in a recent pastoral letter, reports said Friday.
The 83-year old president, himself a Roman Catholic, dismissed as nonsense the pastoral letter released last month that said the crisis gripping Zimbabwe was a crisis of governance and leadership.
If I had gone to church and the priest had read that so-called pastoral letter, I would have stood up and said nonsense, Mugabe said in comments carried in the latest edition of the British-based New African magazine and reproduced Friday in the official Herald newspaper.
“It (the pastoral letter) is not something spiritual, it is not religious, the bishops have decided to turn political,” Mugabe said.
“And once they turn political, we regard them as no longer being spiritual and our relations with them would be conducted as if we are dealing with political entities, and this is quite a dangerous path they have chosen for themselves.”
In their hard-hitting letter, which was distributed in all Roman Catholic parishes on Easter Sunday, the nine bishops said a new constitution under which free and fair elections can be held was needed to avoid bloodshed and a major uprising.
They also accused the government of maintaining and enhancing unjust laws adopted from former colonial governments.
Many people in Zimbabwe are angry, and their anger is now erupting into open revolt in one township after another. The confrontation in our country has now reached a flashpoint, the bishops said.
In the interview, Mugabe said he would speak to the bishops, but warned that he would be giving them a piece of his mind.
“A bishop can go to hell while an ordinary person goes to heaven depending on the character of the person. Well, I don’t want to say much about the bishops now, I will say much when I meet them,” he said. –Sapa-dpa


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Zimbabwe bishops end 'criminal silence' on Mugabe

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

HARARE, ZIMBABWE (ANS) -- As the Catholic Pax Christi peace movement calls for prayer and action for Zimbabwe, a local political analyst says that a pastoral letter by the country's bishops calling for the removal of the Mugabe regime may help end the crisis.
According to a story carried on, John Makumbe, a Zimbabwean political commentator and Mugabe critic, told Reuters that local Christian leaders could play a large role in finding a solution to the crisis.
"I think after such a long silence, a criminal silence in my view, the Catholic bishops have woken up to this disaster, and the other church leaders will probably do the same soon and help sort out this crisis," Mr Makumbe said.
Robert Mugabe
Other political analysts also believe that the Church's sharp criticism of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe could have a greater influence in persuading him to discuss political reform than a mass of attacks from elsewhere, Reuters says.
Zimbabwe's Catholic bishops accused Mugabe and his officials of running a bad and corrupt government and abusing the political rights of Zimbabweans in a pastoral letter posted in churches throughout the southern African nation during Easter.
The story said that neither Mugabe, a practicing Catholic, nor his officials have publicly responded to the warning from Zimbabwe's Catholic Bishops' Conference that radical reforms were needed to avert a mass uprising in the economically-strapped country.
"The pastoral letter presents a new challenge to Mugabe and will probably help persuade him that he needs to be talking about electoral and constitutional reforms, too, as pressure is mounting on him," said Eldred Masunungure, a political science professor at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare.
Archbishop Pius Ncube
"The Catholic bishops bring a new moral authority to the Zimbabwe crisis, which Mugabe cannot simply dismiss offhand by suggesting that they are supping with his Western enemies," he added.
Mugabe, who counts a number of Catholic priests among his friends, has traditionally taken a hands-off approach to political critics within the Catholic Church, the largest Christian denomination in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Pax Christi International has launched a call for a day of prayer and action on 14 April for Zimbabwe in solidarity with the Zimbabwe bishops and the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference.
The story concluded by saying, "Zimbabwean Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo has also urged the people to stage peaceful demonstrations to call for the president's resignation."


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Thursday, May 3, 2007


By Mthulisi Mathtuhu

THE Zimbabwean Church leadership is a hotchpotch of fairly educated people of a considerable cultural level and downright gullible people of highly questionable intellectual acumen and moral standing.
Among them you will find narcissistic power mongers and wealth seekers with a fair sprinkling of dishonest men and women of renowned insincerity.
Not to be outdone are those of different political persuasions making the grouping naturally given to polarisation which is why the Anglicans and the Catholics will issue totally different statements on the situation obtaining in Zimbabwe as if they reside in two different planets.
This composition renders the Church leadership vulnerable to manipulations and hi-jacking as the politicians seek to use them as a camouflage for their
So when the Church leaders met last year to produce the Zimbabwe We Want document, it was apparent to some of us in the ecumenical movement that the gullible lot among them had swung the ship to take the route that was welcome to the government and help Robert Mugabe pretend that he was doing something.
The blunder of the Church today has been to enter the Zimbabwean debate with the thinking that Zimbabwe is a victim of some conspiracy. The scope of their reasoning is essentially pleasing to Mugabe.
They speak about Zimbabwe in a manner that would rather please the tyrant in Mugabe than challenge and implore the normal person in him to see sense in the drive for the other Zimbabwe.
Rather than use their moral authority to diplomatically bring a sense of guilt and consequently, the urgent need for reform, they will use it to shield him. Mugabe is certainly relieved than challenged by the bond he has with the Church leaders who often concoct eulogies for him under the guise of theological reflection and patriotism.
The Church Leader’s spokesperson Bishop Trevor Manhanga’s "patriotic" statements and gesturing are all that counts to Mugabe and are enough to please him as they are within the premise of blaming somebody else other than the Dear Leader.
The contents of the Zimbabwe We Want document are not important to Mugabe, after all that is what is written every day in the opinion pages of newspapers by the Lovemore Madhukus and the Brian Kagoros.
What Mugabe is interested in are the Bishops who purchase into and defend the fallacy that Zimbabwe is under attack and is a victim of vitriolic imperialist propaganda.
That is why there is no difference today between Manhanga’s utterances and the state adverts praising the trees, mountains, rivers, Victoria Falls and the country’s literacy levels as if anybody ever questioned the beauty of Zimbabwe.
What is under attack is not Zimbabwe in its entirety, but is the obtuse leadership that has sunk deep down to the levels of the ancient kingdoms of the Old Testament era.
What is under attack is not the contents of the document, but the spirit and the purpose behind its release because we have always been saying what it says anyway.
It is the willingness of the Church leaders to expose their ethical weaknesses by being on the same platform of views with Mugabe while at the same time producing a ‘good’ document that he will evidently not take serious in order that they may claim in future that they never conducted themselves questionably.
The Zimbabwe We Want document should not be used to cover up for the Church leadership’s folly which is a windfall for Mugabe.
Even as they still cling on to it, nothing has come out of the document because there was never going to be anything except that they were always going to end up being "patriotic Zimbabweans" giving interviews to the official press which customarily doesn’t give space to democrats but to confused apologists.
It is for this reason that the document is unacceptable because instead of it being an instrument to engage Zimbabwe and Mugabe for change, it is used to cover up for the Church’s support for the establishment which is what Mugabe intended in the first place.
Criticise the Church leaders today, and their apologists will be quick to say its bigoted criticism because they (primates) produced a "good" document. But didn’t Mugabe present a "good" speech at Independence in 1980 but only to walk out of Rufaro Stadium to set up the Fifth Brigade that went on to mete out unprecedented violence on the civilian population in Matabeleland in a spectacular betrayal of his promises. Wasn’t his speech a good statement used to cover up for his wayward and evil ways that were to unfold just a few weeks from its delivery?
"Even a madman can say something with sense but watch out because he will soon add something to it which will show you that his mind is still spoilt," writes Chinua Achebe.
It is the case with Trevor Manhanga who will produce a good document (regurgitating what has been said over and over again) but will go on to extend solidarity to the very class that is a hindrance to the Zimbabwe he wants.
He will go on to excoriate the defenders of democracy, as he did with South African editor Mondli Makhanya recently, but will keep quiet or just "regret the situation" when the state descends on democrats and opposition politicians seeking to air their views freely.
If Manhanga and his friends are ever so ready to frankly dispute the claims of the supposed detractors of Zimbabwe in the South African media, they should explain why are they reluctant to comment on murder and beatings of Zimbabweans by the state.
It is hypocrisy for them to condemn "violence" under the cover of being non-partisan when it is clear to everybody that what we are faced with is not just "violence" but state terrorism. It is not something to "regret" but something to condemn in frank and forthright terms.
There is very nearly no indication that the Church leaders abhor Mugabe’s un-statesman-like political behaviour. Their spectacular readiness to condemn "violence" and "attacks on Zimbabwe" is opposed by the reluctance to condemn state terror, electoral theft and un-diplomatic violent language from State House.
If they were indeed concerned about bad journalism, they should have long complained in strong terms about the state publications which use their statements to defend Mugabe.
While Manhanga is at liberty to show his vehement displeasure with the South African journalists, he will not show the same forthrightness in the face of journalism practiced by the ZBC and the Herald.
Actually he is silent because it is the kind of journalism serving the person he is not only in bed with but whom he is not willing to be frank in his dealing with.
Evidently, the best way to deal with Mugabe is not through documents but civil disobedience which Archbishop Pius Ncube is talking about.
Hasn’t history shown us that Mugabe resents documents of discussion? Think of the Chihambakwe report, CCJP report, Zimrights report, African Union Human Rights Commission report, Constitutional Commission draft Constitution etc.
To want to discuss with Mugabe is to miss the fact that what is obtaining in Zimbabwe is not a battle of minds. It is something less about views but more about murder, brazen repression and madness.
Zimbabweans including Mugabe know that his time is up. He knows that he has raped the country and will not leave because he fears accounting. It is not that he thinks he is a victim, although he says so.
There is no doubt that the Church leaders are currently not doing anything because the document is dead and buried. It will forever be useless in as far as Zimbabwe’s future is concerned. They have come to a dead end. The only thing they have to do is to complain about some people not being patriotic because the person who sent then to the people has shown them that they were wasting their time.
Perhaps they may as well tell Zimbabwe the source of new vehicles driven by some of the Church leaders. They should say who is funding their secretariat on the so-called Zimbabwe We Want project.
Mthulisi Mathuthu is a New columnist. He can be contacted at: