‘Listen to the people’ – CA pleads with govt

'Prayer, flooding the halls of government, washing them of their filth'


he Christian Alliance (CA), a national network of Christian leaders who are committed to bringing about transformation through Christian action, says it is concerned about the continued suffering of the people of Zimbabwe.

“We note with concern that the government continues to ignore the voices of citizens as expressed by students, women and the self-employed. The arrest of women, students and vendors in both Harare and Bulawayo is a clear sign that conditions in our country are continuing to deteriorate,” the association says in a statement this week.

“The increases in students’ fees from roughly Z$1.7 to 17 million and Z$3 to 33 million will lead to thousands of students losing a lifetime opportunity of being educated and empowered. The cries of the students regarding these increases cannot be ignored. Education is the only escape route out of poverty.”

The CA called on the government to embrace a new culture of listening to the voices of the downtrodden and working with them to resolve the crucial issues at stake.

Bulawayo churches have been feeding more than 20 NUST students in police custody, charged under the Law and Order Maintenance Act, since their peaceful attempt to submit a petition to the vice chancellor. They were beaten by campus guards and arrested by the police.

Pastors have condemned the heavy handedness of the authorities, which they say signals a general meltdown in the nation. “Locking people up is not going to deal with the fundamental problems. Women and young people are fighting for freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of demonstration,” they said.

“Government should be sincere in wanting to deal with real issues and admit that all is not well, instead of beating citizens into silence,” said Pastor Ray Motsi of the Bulawayo Baptist Church.

The churches in Bulawayo held a 24-7 prayer meeting last week (24 hours a day for seven days) under the theme Praying for Transformation in Zimbabwe. The week culminated in a 24-hour worship service on Saturday and Sunday. This was found written on the wall of the prayer room: “Chaos Theory: Quiet prayers whispered in the dark in a small room in Bulawayo flow like ripples of hope and crash like a mighty wave destroying the walls of bigotry and flooding the halls of government, washing them of their filth.

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