The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC)
has apologised for standing by while its country's people have starved
to death due to food shortages and while violence, rape, intimidation and
torture have 'ravaged the nation.'
A communiqué, issued at the council's annual general meeting earlier this month, states that the churches have watched as children have been forced onto the streets out of poverty, unemployment has soared, and productivity has fallen due to scarcity of fuel and other basic commodities. Bread, sugar, petrol and even banknotes are in short supply in Zimbabwe.
The ZCC also admitted that they have taken a back seat on constitutional reform, looked on as the land reform programme has progressed without proper infrastructure, and watched as the health delivery system has continued to crumble.
'While the church has noted all these developments, and while we have continued to pray, we have not been moved to action,' the communiqué reads. 'James says: "..and I by my actions will show my faith!" We as a council apologise to the people of Zimbabwe for not having done enough at a time when the nation has looked to us for guidance.'
The ZCC, a Christian Aid partner organisation, resolved to lobby the Government to remove barriers that prevent the church from delivering food aid, and to condemn all acts of violence perpetuated against citizens. They also promised to actively participate in the constitutional reform process, and to advocate for: 'resuscitation of a health delivery system that has sufficient drugs and equipment and personnel [and] that is well remunerated.'
Christian Aid supports two local organisations that are providing food for some of the youngest victims of the latest food shortage. Both Christian Care and ORAP feed under-fives and school aged children. This emergency work runs alongside their long term projects that ensure that Zimbabweans have access to secure, regular and nutritious food.