Harare (Fides Service) “ We want the truth. We ask those who have the power to change the situation to act for the common good or we will be held responsible for the destruction of our own people. We will be condemned by history” This appeal has been launched by the Superiors of Catholic Religious Congregations in Zimbabwe who ask the country’s political leaders to explain the present situation. They call for justice and peace to be restored. “The situation must be based on the four pillars of peace, truth, justice, love and freedom”
The Religious ask the government to explain the serious shortage of prime necessities. “Since we are not at war, why is there a shortage of food, fuel, other essential goods which forces people to stand in line for hours? Why have so many businesses closed? Why are prices unreasonably high, why has the black market been allowed to grow, while normal trade is hampered?”
The Catholic Religious strongly condemn the climate of violence which has hung over Zimbabwe for years: “Why is the ethos of Zimbabwe society undermined by violence, intimidation, corruption and indifference towards the sufferings of our citizens? We call on the country’s leaders to act strenuously for unity and to dialogue with all the parties concerned in Zimbabwe and in other countries to solve the crisis”.
Zimbabwe is living a serious crisis connected with the permanence in power of Robert Mugabe. In March 2002 Mugabe was re-elected in a vote which was contested both by the Opposition and by the international community. The President also started a programme to re-distribute lands confiscated from European settlers and this plunged the country’s agriculture into crisis. Zimbabwe, which until a short while ago had a flourishing agriculture, is now not even able to supply enough food for its own people. LM (Fides Service 23/5/2003 EM lines 20 Words: 260)