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Deep concern for worsening situation in Zimbabwe

Support is desperately needed as the crisis in Zimbabwe continues to deteriorate

The peaceful environment which initially surrounded the 29 March national elections in Zimbabwe has changed significantly, going from bad to worse, and Uniting International Mission is asking people to maintain their interest, support and prayer.

Following recent conversations with leaders of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe and the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa, Uniting International Mission expresses a deep concern for the current crisis which Zimbabwe faces.

The deep concern of the Uniting Church in Australia has been expressed to the leadership of our partner churches.

Uniting International Mission National Director Rev Kerry Enright has strongly encouraged prayer support for our partners in Zimbabwe and for the peace of the country in the next stage of presidential elections.

“The continued worsening in this humanitarian situation calls for continued scrutiny.

“It is easy to forget about the current crisis in Zimbabwe, particularly as there have been recent disasters in other parts of the world. Although fresh disasters are occurring, we can continue to remember the terrible situation in Zimbabwe and lend our support generously.

“We are concerned for signs of brutality against those who do not support the present President, and for increasing poverty and starvation in Zimbabwe and fear that if nothing is done to help the Zimbabwe people from their predicament, injustice and violence will prevail.”

A leader known to Uniting International Mission in Zimbabwe suggests the situation there is worse than revealed in the newspapers with church leaders and citizens experiencing significant intimidation.

“Many people are becoming victims of the situation; some of the displaced people who lost their belongings during the January floods are again losing that which had remained at the hands of Government agents. People are being abducted, beaten, tortured, humiliated, controlled and, in some cases, murdered, because of varied political views and opinions”

On Wednesday, Uniting International Mission, along with other Non-Government Organisations will be raising the situation in Zimbabwe with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith.

Uniting International Mission is also encouraging Uniting Church members to write to the Australian Government, encouraging them to make progress regarding Zimbabwe’s situation and to pray that the 27 June run-off will usher in a new era for Zimbabwe and for effective measures at a political level in the midst of the current worsening situation.