Eyewitness report from Zimbabwe

 The following eyewitness account was sent to us last night by ANGLICAN-INFORMATION. The correspondent's name has been withheld for security reasons. Third Sunday after Easter. Third Sunday after Zimbabwe Presidential Elections. We still have no official result to the election and the situation is deteriorating. Violence and intimidation is definitely occurring in the rural areas. The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights, who look after torture victims at the main Harare private hospital are seeing many patients. Some have wounds, already infected, as clinic nurses in some areas refuse to see them, no doubt because they are scared. At least one badly burnt patient has been admitted. Mbecki (President of South Africa) says there is no crisis. What makes a crisis? The remaining white farmers are being attacked and told to leave their farms. It is said that villagers are being made to attack them. If they refuse their houses are being torched. One report from a mission farm said they (the farmers) were turned off last week. Then the police came and drove off the invaders. Today they have been attacked again. Our church was as usual at 11 o'clock, the required 90 minutes after the start of the original 8.30 am service (following the legal restraints imposed to separate the Kunonga faction from the Provincial diocese of Harare). The church was packed, perhaps 300 people but only 47 in the Sunday School. There are usually rather more (parents are afraid). When we got to the prayers for the nation, many people chipped in in anguished tones - so different to two weeks ago, when it was 'Tinotenda Mwari', (Thank you, thank you Lord.) One beautiful prayer said in English, asked the Lord 'to come among us, and guide the nation'. The notices were given and Bishop Sebastian Bakare has produced a booklet for those preparing confirmation candidates. Everyone has been asked to study it in the house groups. He will conduct a confirmation at the Bernard Misecki Shrine in June. Those who were confirmed by Kunonga after he was sacked are invited to be presented again. People were very frightened of Kunonga. Another notice was an appeal for funds for the legal cases. Everyone was asked to donate $100 million. They started the collection there and then and collected $5 billion. ANGLICAN-INFORMATION reports that this is hugely generous but with 100,000%+ inflation will be valueless in months. There are rumours of fighting in one of the township churches involving former Bishop Kunonga's paid thugs. The situation in Zimbabwe is extremely volatile and the Central African Province in the thick if it. Pray for Bishop Sebastian Bakare and the people and priests. We will release more information as it becomes available. ANGLICAN-INFORMATION is a network acting as a free conduit for news and information related to the Anglican Diocese of Lake Malawi, and the Province of Central Africa. It is organised by an international team of those who know and love Africa and Malawi well. We reserve the right to reflect on the news as we receive it for the benefit of our worldwide audience.

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