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Home | ZimCrisis#134 -- Sunday Sermon

Date: Sat, 19 Aug 2000 15:34:12 -0700
To: "Zimbabwe Crisis Mailing List":;
From: Zimbabwe Crisis
Subject: ZimCrisis#134 -- Sunday Sermon

Hi everyone,

Since it's already Sunday in some parts of the world, let's read something from a reverend. I received this on August 7th. Although there is no date on the actual article, it would seem that it was actually written before the election.

I'm well aware of some of the history of religious missionaries in Africa, especially Zimbabwe, and not all of it is glorious as some would have you believe. However, this is a well written article and the reverend makes some excellent points.


OBJECT: For the defence of the Faith and to monitor the spiritual, economic and social development of Zimbabwe and befriend, advise and assist where possible former Rhodesian citizens.

Hon. President Rev. Fr. Arthur R. Lewis, M.A. Oxon
Director W. Denis Walker
P.O. Box 5307
Bishop's Stortford, Herts.,
CM23 3DZ


by Father Arthur Lewis

It was early in the 'sixties' that I risked a coracle across the crocodile-infested Pungwe River to reach Katiyo. The village lay on the extreme eastern border of Rhodesia (as it then was) and was perhaps the remotest part of the country. The children had never seen a white man and just ran.

The coracle was too dangerous, so next time I went the long way round. Leaving the Land Rover beyond the Pungwe bridge, I walked to our school at Chikomba. Here Teacher Kenneth Ndhlovu, himself a keen Christian, led me to Katiyo through the forest and across a "bridge" - two fallen trees - over a rushing stream. it was not long before we had a school and a church and the beginnings of a Christian community. The Land Development Officer and I planted the first tea, to raise funds for school fees.


In a few years a road had been built, an African Tea Estate had grown up and a flourishing quarry had been opened -all these bringing employment to the poverty-stricken peasants. Within a couple of decades Katiyo moved from primitive Africa into the 20th century. Education, civilisation and Christianity transformed the whole area.

In April of this year Robert Mugabe's drunken thugs quickly put paid to that. The people of Katiyo disillusioned by 20 years of corrupt rule, turned to Mr Morgan Tsvangirai's opposition Movement for Democratic Change. The vengeance of Mr Mugabe's invading mobs was terrible. They unleashed an orgy of kidnappings, rape and beatings. They burned the quarry owner's house, and shrieked with laughter as they barbecued his chickens and watched the fire. Police turned up and watched as the invaders carried off their loot. To this day the local people are stunned with terror: they are unlikely to dare to vote against Mugabe in the election of June 24th-25th.

We hear that the notorious Fifth Army is now in the Hone Valley in Eastern Zimbabwe, within reach of both Katiyo and the central mission of St Peter, Mandea.

Attacks like that at Katiyo are taking place the length and breadth of Zimbabwe.

At Nehanda, another village in Eastern Zimbabwe, Peter Kariza was buried on April 30th. He was a supporter of the Movement for Democratic Change. He was just one of the dozens of people on the farms reported murdered by followers of the ruling ZANU (PF)after Mr Mugabe lost the constitutional referendum in February. His house was burned and not even a priest was allowed to attend the funeral. "No one must mourn a member of the MDC," the invaders are alleged to have said. "If they do they will be killed."


We have all read in the press about the five white farmers who have been murdered, and seen their stories on the TV. We will not attempt to tell their experiences again. It is impossible to exaggerate the plight of their widows and families, though the Commercial Farmers' Union is doing what it can to help. Less attention has been given to the fearsome sufferings of the more numerous African victims of Mr Mugabe's reign of terror.

One of the white farmers was Mr David Stevens. At his funeral (from which Africans were kept away by gunmen) mourners were asked to remember his foreman, Julius Andoche, a father of five who was killed for trying to save his employer's life. Mr Stevens' widow, herself in grave danger of her life, pleaded that some good might yet come out of her husband's killing. Her plea was spurned by the country's Vice-President, Simon Muzna, who said there was nothing to regret about his death or that of his fellow white farmer Mr Martin Olds.

The story of Mr Olds' three-hour single-handed defence of his ranch is the stuff of legends, a story of heroic courage incomprehensible to the Mugabes of this world. Mrs Olds, a paraplegic, is now in the United Kingdom, and it need not be said that our Group will do what it can for her.

The restraint of the thousand or more white farmers whose homes and lands have been pillaged by Mugabe's hordes, often drunk and high on drugs, has been no less courageous. The farmers have suffered hug provocation. The invasions of their properties have nothing at all to do with the land problem, which they have long been striving to sort out rationally. It is a question of power for Mugabe, who has wheeled this "problem" out at every election since he took over the country twenty years ago. The main sufferers are the hundreds of farm employees, beaten and tortured (and sometimes murdered) in order to make it unthinkable that the Movement for Democratic Change should inherit power.

The London "Times" pointed out on June 3rd that a US-sponspored team which had been in the country for some months had concluded that there is no likelihood of a free and fair contest.


Joint leaders of the hideous persecution in Zimbabwe are Mugabe himself and his ally Chenjerai Hitler Hunzvi of the mis-named "War Veterans Association." (This new Hitler is reported to have looted funds set aside for genuine veterans of the guerrilla war, for which crime he has been indicted and is currently on bail.) Hunzvi is scarcely less powerful than the president himself. Together they control the army and the police, who in turn organise the systematic terrorising of the rural areas by the thugs, most of them too young to be "war veterans." Typical of their victims is "Learnmore Chagonda": though this is not his real name, which must be withheld to protect his surviving family.

Three youths of the ruling party beat his wife, and then beat Learnmore himself all night with iron bars and a rhino whip wrapped in barbed wire. They dumped him at the roadside as dead. A villager recognised him and, defying the ruling ZANU(PF), had him carried in an ox-wagon to a nearby Roman Catholic mission. There the nuns bandaged his wounds and released him the following day. He was smuggled to hospital in Harare, arriving at 10 a.m. and being seen by a doctor at 8 p.m. His wounds turned septic, and an amputation was planned. He died before this could take place. We understand that the villagers were told that if the ruling party does not win the election, they will all be killed and the war will start again.


Mr Mugabe has at last begun to pull his troops out of the ludicrously named "Democratic Republic of Congo", where some two thirds of his army have been guarding the diamond fields of the DRC and fighting for the survival of his friend President Lauren Kabila. Presumably he needs the army for the election it is diamonds, of course, which are financing the Central African war as well as producing vast personal wealth for Mr Mugabe, his army chiefs and his cronies. It is diamonds, in fact, which are keeping the two governments in power. To make doubly sure of the election result, the farm invaders were ordered to stay put on the farms both during and after the election!

What is not generally understood is that both Mugabe and Kabila are in fact pawns in a much bigger game. An expose of this by Peter Sawwyer appears in an unlikely quarter, namely the last issue of "Punch Magazine" in May.

"The irony," he writes, "is that the real power in this operation lies in the hands of a group of powerful, shadowy, extremely wealthy white men. Without the backing of these secretive international players, Mugabe's government would crumble to dust. Some of these key players....live in the quiet, leafy surroundings of the Home Counties. Last month one such player was exposed in the House of Lords. John Bredenkamp of Sunningdale, Berkshire, was named as being involved in brokering substantial shipments of arms from countries such as Bulgaria to Zimbabwe...... According to South African intelligence sources, John Bredenkamp.... is Zimbabwe's main arms procurer.......His personal fortune, owned through offshore trusts, is estimated as well over UKP440 million."

Of course, we can guarantee the factual accuracy of none of this. Nor can we link these allegations with the secretive Bilderberg Group.

The final comments of Peter Sawyer are worth noting. "Reputedly, every week two chartered jets fly from Kinshasa in the DRC to an airport in Belgium. The 'planes bring with them packets of diamonds, which are then sold on the Antwerp diamond market. The proceeds go towards the cost of the war.....The European Union could probably stop the war at a stroke, simply by impounding the 'planes. Yet the truth is that some very powerful Europeans have an interest in the continuation of this particular war."


All this may be considered "politics", and nothing to do with Christians. Yet the increasing control of world affairs by a handful of hidden super-rich tycoons is the direct cause of the misery of millions. It is also responsible for the widespread retreat of Christianity in the West. It is more than time Christians woke up, fought back and tore down the veil of secrecy which hides these men. They are safe from the power of the media, which they largely own: but not from the power of God, of prayer and of determined Christians who are prepared to show their heads over the parapet.

It is time that we recognised that colonialism was not the bad thing it is alleged. Indeed for Africa over-rapid decolonisation under American pressure has proved ruinous. Tropical Africa never experienced a Copper or a Bronze Age because Europeans brought Black Africans by the tens of millions out of the Stone Age into the modern world. When European explorers first penetrated the continent, tribal Africa had not yet developed the wheel. Aida Parker writes bluntly: "Everything in the development of Africa is thanks to the Whites: its cities, farmlands, roads, railways, its hospitals, its power grids, its cars, aircraft and computers. It was the white man who paved the way for education, for health services, for social development of every kind." She might have added that the pioneers of all this development - and of common languages which made communication possible outside the tribal group - were the Christian missionaries who, at incalculable cost to themselves, brought the Gospel to Africa. Christianity was the driving force behind it all. Christianity can and must fight back today.

It may be unpopular to say it, but history has shown that Rhodesia was right and Mr Wilson's Britain wholly wrong. We cannot turn the clock back, but there is some hope of turning it forward if we have the courage to swim against the tide, unmask the few who are doing so much damage and scrap the lie that Christianity is a spent force. What about the 10,000 Anglicans who filled the London Stadium on the Eve of Pentecost? What about the millions of Christians world-wide who took part in the March for Jesus? The media may disregard us all. But we have the power to make a difference.

Christianity is the hope for the future. Our immediate job in the UK is to do what we can for those forced out of Zimbabwe and who land up on these shores. The prayers which support us and the funds which you send us may not revolutionise the situation in Zimbabwe overnight: they can and will revolutionise the lives of a few.

At the risk of wearisome repetition, we say once more "Our work is but a drop in the ocean of need. But it is still better to light a small candle than to curse the dark."

And Our Lord did say: "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel..."

The Rhodesia Christian Group is funded entirely by voluntary contributions.

For further copies please write to:

P.O. Box 5307,
Bishop's Stortford,
United Kingdom

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Brief list of helpful sites on the issue:
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- Offers of and requests for help for Zimbabweans -- http://pub9.ezboard.com/boffersofhelp
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- Movement for Democratic Change -- http://www.in2zw.com/mdc
- Zimbabwe Democracy Trust -- http://www.zimbabwedemocracytrust.org
- BSAP Pursuit of Zimbabwean Criminals -- http://www.bsaphq.f9.co.uk