Zimbabwe: 'in a spiritual and moral crisis'

A Catholic writes: Zimbabwe looks to the superficial observer in reasonable shape and quite peaceful. In fact, it is bleeding from many wounds. The amputees and crippled people,traumatized by beatings and torture, are rarely visible, but they are there in their hundreds and thousands.

Our bishops said, not for the first time, that the crisis of Zimbabwe is “spiritual and moral” (Pastoral Statement, The Common Good, 14 January 2011). There are Catholics not ashamed to wear their church uniform at one time and the party colours at another. They see no contradiction. If you mention the terrible acts of violence, torture and cruelty, they close their eyes. They are also against violence. ”The President has condemned it,” they say. Indeed he has. Politicians say different things at different times as it suits their audiences.

They do not respect Truth. That is what the Bishops mean by “spiritual and moral crisis”. And this virus is infecting the whole body. Whom can you trust? Who is honest and reliable?

People are being chased out of their homes and forced to attend party meetings. But party officials claim the party does not force people. Where is the truth?

The security business is booming. It is about the only one that is growing. Why? Because thieves and robbers flourish.

You try and get a passport without paying a hefty bribe. Government workers and powerful officials of all parties demanding bribes – is that not stealing from the common people?

Corrupt leaders encourage the young to follow in their footsteps and try and enrich themselves, not by honest and productive work, but by stealing what others have produced.

They corrupt the young also by using them as their tools of terror. Once a youngster has tasted blood, torturing and beating a fellow human being mercilessly, or even killing him, he is spoiled for life. Having lost all respect for human life he will be a torturer and killer for ever.

The Church teaches the Ten Commandments “You must not kill, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness, you must not covet your neighbour’s wife, his possessions”. ‘

God is light and in him there is no darkness.’ Therefore do not mislead people, do not lead them into darkness. ‘God is love’, therefore accept as brother and sisters every person created by God.

If this is politics, so be it. But the Church is never partisan. Her message is going out to all, also to those who wish to free us from the tyrant. Precisely because they want to create a better Zimbabwe they must be different, must respect God’s law. If they don’t they have nothing to offer.

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