Zimbabwe: churches apologise for not doing more

 The Zimbabwe Council of Churches has issued an apology to the people of Zimbabwe for not doing enough to protest at human rights abuses by the government. The apology was made in a statement issued by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches following its annual meeting on Thursday. The council, which represents all the main Christian denominations in Zimbabwe, said it had "watched passively" as poverty worsened. People are dying of starvation, it said, the economy is crumbling, the health system is collapsing and people are being raped and tortured and the perpetrators are never arrested. The statement also criticised Zimbabwe's land reform program, which it said decreased production. From now on, the churches say, they intend to make their voices heard. Plans include lobbying the government to allow churches to import food and make basic commodities available to all. The council also promised to set up a task force to investigate the National Youth Service, whose members are often recruited for the notorious Green Bombers militia - which has been accused of attacking people at opposition party meetings.

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