“If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Harassment Border restrictions, corruption, and chaos, are all to be expected when crossing a border into Zimbabwe, especially the dreaded Beit-bridge border. I have painfully crossed borders into Zimbabwe for six years, and each time I am either targeted with, or witness, some kind of blatant corruption or wickedness from government officials. Just a few months ago I went through over 70 police stops traveling through the country.
Corruption This is not surprising because it is the natural result of a government as corrupt as Zimbabwe’s. The leadership of the ruling party, ZANU-PF, is guilty of theft, murder, greed, extortion, lies, and more. So, why should the rest of the party, or any government official, be any different? This is obviously not to say that every police member or military person is crooked, but many, if not most, are.
Economic Suicide Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF has been intentionally ruining Zimbabwe for over 36 years. Most people know that 2005-2008 was a time of great depression for the country. There was no food on the shelves, the Zimbabwe dollar was worthless as a result of Marxist economic policies and farm invasions, people were starving, and suffering had reached unprecedented levels.
Confusion To make matters worse, Robert Mugabe’s strongest opposition, Morgan Tsvangerai, has not addressed many real issues that underlie Zimbabwe’s problems. In the 2013 elections, Tsvangerai praised Mugabe for “liberating the country”, but criticized him for not sustaining the country, providing jobs, creating a sustainable economy etc. While the MDC certainly opposes the corruption and oppression of ZANU-PF, its leaders do not seem to tackle issues such as Marxism or the violent terrorism by Mugabe and his officials.
Making Excuses for Tyranny Sadly, many in Zimbabwe have also fallen into the trap of lies which their communist dictatorship has led them to believe. Time and time again, I have spoken about the evils committed by ZANU-PF, and multiple Zimbabweans have defended their president: “At least he does not allow abortions”, “He has banned same-sex marriage”, or more recently I heard, “He is a very peaceful man”! I am often berated for simply pointing out facts such as the massacre of the Matabele, or the greedy, violent land seizures. Why do so many rise to the defence of Bob Mugabe?
Defending Their Abusers Typical of a Marxist government, ZAUN-PF keeps people oppressed, abused, and confused. Then they do something that seems to give them just a little bit of hope. It creates a kind of dependence or allegiance to the same government which is strangling its people. Suffering men and women latch onto the little bit of good they see, and end up identifying with the very people who are enslaving them.
Oppression However, this system will eventually wear off as people begin to realise that they are not free, they are being stolen from, and their lives and families are in danger. The reality of the situation will dawn on them, especially as the government becomes more and more lazy in its attempts to brainwash its citizens. What we have now in Zimbabwe is a situation of people who are sick and tired of tyranny, poverty, and lifeless existence. Many are finding their voice, and crying out for justice. But, the main focus of their negative attention is on a dying dictator-Robert Mugabe, and not the secular humanism and Marxist ZANU-PF he represents.
Violent Reactions In recent newspaper reports, one reads of Mugabe restricting the importation of just about anything useful, from baskets to food. Venders angrily protesting, burning down busses, shutting down Beit Bridge. Protestors beaten and abused, 71 thrown in prison. Angry residents joining in with protestors, burning tires, wood, and blocking traffic because promises from 2013 elections were not upheld. Taxi operators clash against police in Harare over roadblocks. Thankfully, many have realised that a violent revolution is not the way to restore peace and productivity.
Peaceful Protests Met with Violence More newspapers reports show that the destructive protests are being replaced with peaceful demonstration, although they are not always met with peaceful response from local authorities. Pastor Mawarire who started the #Thisflag movement called people to resist the government through peaceful protest. The government threatens to arrest anyone who opposes them. Zimbabweans protest against government by refusing to go to work or trade, causing a national shutdown. Police respond to the national shutdown, arresting about 100 citizens and brutally beating many. ZANU-PF blames Western embassies for civil unrest. Pastor Mawarire arrested for causing civil unrest, but later released causing Zimbabweans to celebrate victory for the #thisflag movement. Zimbabweans call for a People’s Revolution to rid themselves of Mugabe and his party. People gather together in Harare to pray and celebrate the release of pastor Mawarire.
So Where is This Heading? There are many possible outcomes, but I think three should be highlighted. First, many seem quite eager to throw Mugabe under the bus as being responsible for the current situation in Zimbabwe. While he is certainly responsible for great evil and deserves to be tried as a war criminal, the question of succession still remains. If he is simply replaced by another ZANU-PF member, the situation certainly will not become better. Issues of war crimes, tyranny, and government corruption will not be dealt with. In fact, things may worsen depending on which ZANU marxist replaces Mugabe.
Socialists Attempt to Hijack the Opposition Second, the entire movement could be hijacked by another socialist group, causing a similar situation to the Arab Spring. For example, ex-ZANU member Acie Lumumba recently launched his own political party, Viva Zimbabwe. His party is riding on the back of the anti-Mugabe movement. He kicked his campaign off with a bang by flipping off the president and threatening the president’s children should anything happen to him as a result of opposing Mugabe. People like this may seem like heroes for standing against oppression now, but they will make destructive leaders tomorrow. Anybody treacherous enough to side with ZANU-PF to begin with should not be given another chance to run and ruin the country again. Rumours of ex-ZANU –PF members joining the MDC are also concerning. If opposition parties are wise and serious about social reform, they should require ex-ZANU-PF members to renounce all dealings with their former party as siding with corruption, intentional social destruction, greed, violence, and evil.
Justice Must be Done Third, whoever takes over must implement social reforms and lead the people of Zimbabwe in serious Repentance and reconciliation. Starting from the top, corruption needs to be decisively dealt with. The actions of Military and law-enforcement leaders need to be scrutinized, and individuals charged with any and all crimes they have committed. Those involved with ZANU-PF and their crimes against the country need to be indicted. “War veterans” who murdered farmers, stole thousands of hectares of land, massacred the Matabele, and harassed the public also need to feel the full weight of the law. Unlawful taxations, land seizures, and business theft needs to be reversed, free enterprise promoted, and border control policies radically redefined.
Hope for Zimbabwe This is the only hope for Zimbabwe. Should all of these positive changes take place, we are still looking at decades of work to be done to restore the country. Thankfully, the forerunner of the resistance to Mugabe and ZANU-PF is a pastor who is calling for peaceful protests. Therefore, people are not burning down what little resources they have, and they are minimizing the violent reaction from the current ruling party, although violence is still there. Pastor Mararire is gaining popularity, and seems to be uniting the people of Zimbabwe in peaceful resistance against the ruling government.
Zimbabwe for Christ It is my hope and prayer for my friends in Zimbabwe that more people will find their voice and react to their situation with Biblical wisdom and prayerful action. Their desire should be Reformation and not revolution. Godly, discerning leaders are needed. Those who fear God and keep His commandments should be those who have the loudest voices and be the anchor of morality and reason in this time of confusion.
"Rescue those being led away to death. Hold back those staggering towards slaughter… Will He not repay each one according to what he has done?" Proverbs 24:11-12
John Clifford Frontline Fellowship P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725 Cape Town South Africa Tel: 021-689-4480 Email: