They have no rural home

MBARE - A woman who had been under arrest for selling sweets to kids at the school gates told us that the policeman who took her to the station said to her, “You unemployed people must all go back

to your rural homes.”
Is that the purpose behind the constant harassment of the poor in Mbare and elsewhere? To turn rebellious town dwellers into docile villagers?

Many Mbare people have no rural home. Their parents came from Malawi and Mozambique. Murewa, Mutoko, Mhondoro or Mzarabani do not want them. They are town dwellers without rural roots. Others may be of Zimbabwean origin, but have never lived in a rural village. They would not be welcome as additional eaters when food is scarce anyway. We saw it last year when people were driven out of Mbare by “Murambatsvina”: after a few weeks they were back in town. There was nothing for them in the ancestral village.
The Chitiyo family found refuge in a remote border village, with the old mother of the wife. They are starving and keep coming into town asking for relief food, school fees, clothing, and of course the bus fare back to what is not really their home. Suspected of having sympathies with the opposition, they are not given any food by the ”party”. Suffering in their enforced exile certainly does not make them more “docile” and friendly towards the regime.
The irony is that the “party” is following a policy very similar to that of the “settler-colonial” regime before Independence: the population then in the urban areas had to be strictly controlled. Anyone without a job to be sent back to the “rural areas”, motivated by the fear the urban working class may threaten “state security”. The Rhodesians did not want blacks to sink roots in urban areas; now the regime, with its support base among the peasants, wants urban people to revert to village life. It did not work then, it will not work now. – In Touch Jesuit Communications

They stayed on

ST PAUL’S MUSAMI – Every year in early February, Musami Parish holds a memorial ceremony in memory of the seven missionaries who were shot and killed during the liberation struggle in 1977.
This year’s memorial of the St Paul’s Musami Martyrs began with a brief history of
the martyrs, bible reading and an opening prayer from Fr Karl Steffens SJ. The Parish Chairperson, Mr Masarirambi, welcomed everyone and identified the theme of the year as: “A fruitless religious faith is marked by lack of practical deeds” (Chitendero chisina mabasa chakafa).

Students from the High School performed a drama reflecting the hardships faced before and during their life in the religious family. Sr Jonga LCBL shed then some light on the life of those killed. They included two priests, four sisters and a brother. Some were teachers and others nurses.
The Agnes and Alois Guild performed a drama on the role of teachers
which ended with a talk by Mr Takawira and Mrs Sakutukwa on the work of teachers
who are following Jesus’ life as a teacher. They stressed the fact that Jesus
was loving, merciful, generous, respected team spirit and was never selective.
He treated all souls as equal. He shared his wisdom with both the young and the
old. This session ended with prayers, songs and the rosary. The CYA group
performed a drama on the work of nurses, and Mrs Mufandaedza explained the work
of nurses after the play.

She said nurses followed Jesus’ footsteps, as he was a great healer. Nurses at St Paul’s Mission Hospital believe that they prescribe medicines for the sick, and it is Jesus who heals. She emphasized that at the beginning of each day they sang and prayed with the sick. After Mrs Mufandaedza’s talk, prayers were made asking for help from the Holy Spirit to help them do their work wholeheartedly like the murdered religious people and Jesus did. Mrs Tom and Mr Chiwara gave a talk on the work of Catechists. They also emphasized the work of teachers, leaders and parents in Bible teaching, the work of Christians in relation to the theme. – In Touch Jesuit Communications

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