Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA) have sent an open letter addressed to President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, SADC President.
We, the Catholic Bishops of IMBISA (Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa – Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, Sao Tome e Principe, South Africa & Zimbabwe) gathered in Pretoria for our 9th Plenary Session, wish to address a very particular plea to the political leaders of the SADC region. We do this at a critical time in the life of the Zimbabwean Nation. We do this firstly and especially, out of a deep concern for the suffering people of Zimbabwe.
By Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference
God Can Heal The Wounds Of The Afflicted: A Pastoral Letter on National Healing and Reconciliation, 1 October 2009
The Spirit of the Lord is upon our land and God is ready to heal us. Today, as we struggle with the Global Political Agreement, national economic recovery, the national constitutional process, national healing, national visioning, etc., we must acknowledge and recognize the significance of this historical moment. God has given us an opportunity to face and resolve our crises.
We, your Bishops, said in 2007 that “Our crisis is not only political and economic but first and foremost a spiritual and moral crisis”. Every problem has a religious dimension. Noone’s heart can be at rest as long as people are haunted by evil memories, never acknowledged and straightened out. This crisis can only be resolved if we, the people of Zimbabwe, confess our sins, are forgiven, fully accept each other and once more commit ourselves to work together in solidarity, justice and peace.
The collapse of Zimbabwe's healthcare system meant that sick people had to bring their own medicines with them to hospital. Credit: Caritas/David Snyder
David Snyder in Zimbabwe – Day 3
Read this entry in French
My last night in Zimbabwe, after a few days now with Caritas staff visiting Caritas beneficiaries in southern Zimbabwe. There is a lot to say about Zimbabwe today. After many years now of decline – the collapse, really, of both the economy and the health care sector – I’ve been happy to see some level or normality return to the country. Continue reading
The face of the impact of the economic crisis in Zimbabwe: parents have abandoned their children leaving them either alone or in the care of grandparents. Credit: Caritas/David Snyder
David Snyder in Zimbabwe - Day 2
If you want to understand the scale of the economic crisis gripping Zimbabwe, travel to the village of Mandabe. While evidence of the hardships facing the people of Zimbabwe is not hard to find across much of the country, the face of crisis is not what you will find in Mandabe, but rather what you will not: the parents of many of Mandabe’s children. They have left Zimbabwe, and their families, for a new life in neighboring Botswana. Continue reading
Without the promise of a meal, many children from poor families in Zimbabwe wouldn't be able to go to school. Credit: Caritas/David Snyder
David Snyder in Zimbabwe – Day 1
Français , Español
After a drive down from Harare yesterday, we headed out this morning for the village of Lupaka. We spent the day there visiting first the Lupaka Primary School then the Lupaka Clinic, which sit side-by-side and both of which Caritas Internationalis is supporting with food as part of the ongoing Emergency Appeal.
The school has 535 students, each of whom has since April been receiving daily meals of porridge made from corn soy blend – a highly nutritious mix provided to the school each month by CI partner agency the Catholic Development Commission (CADEC). With the economic meltdown that has taken place in Zimbabwe, people everywhere here are hurting. Nowhere is the impact of the crisis more evident than in rural areas like Lupaka, where many of the students we saw today would simply not be able to attend school at all were it not for the meal they receive there.
A woman escorts her children to school. Schools failed to open for the start of the new school year as teachers went on strike demanding the government pay their salary in foreign currency. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo (ZIMBABWE)
Make no mistake – the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe remains critical.
Access to healthcare is limited. Schools are closed. Lack of food is widespread. A Cholera epidemic has killed 4000 people. Millions have fled. The country is in ruin.
One would say “Could the last person to leave Zimbabwe please switch off the light”, but as the electricity isn’t working there would be no point.
Yet Caritas Zimbabwe National Director Cornelius Hamadziripi says people are just starting to hope that an end to their suffering is possible.