Tuesday, April 15, 2008

They are Hunting Them Down

****see correction in red below****

I am not sure how much you personally know about the situation in Zimbabwe or if you have been following the elections over there. I have a personal friend that left Zim about 6 years ago and lives in the states now. Her family's lives were definitely being threatened just 7 years ago when they decided to leave their beloved homeland.

They still have friends and family there that did not feel the same pull to leave at that time. Many of them are being oppressed tremendously for just exercising a simple vote for a change of power in Zimbabwe.

I want to ask for you to pray for this country. Pray for a change of heart for the leadership to step down and allow the newly elected officials to step in. Pray for the people there not to be starved and hunted down. They are tired of fighting. Many of them are even tired of praying. They need others to stand in this gap and I am sending this prayer request out to any of you that will earnestly pray for this country - this beautiful homeland of my good friend.

The following is a personal note to her from a friend currently living in Zimbabwe about the current situation. For more news on Zimbabwe you can also check this website out http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/

It is important to note that many of the youths that are spoke of here are young boys that have been forced to fight because they had no other choice. The only people with weapons in this country are the police and the army.
****correction from my friend**** Mugabe's political party is ZANU-PF whereas the opposition to that is MDC (Movement for Democratic Change), or the "good guys", as we see it from our perspective. At any rate MDC have fought faithfully and peacefully for change, often at great personal cost both financially and physically, for the past 8 years - never resorting to violence or intimidation as ZANU-PF does, so that makes them good guys in my eyes.

Sunday 13th April 2008

Dear Family and Friends,

I received a call early one morning this week from a friend in a small
country town. Speaking quickly and quietly for fear of being overheard, he told
me of the frightening events that were going on all around him. Eight double cab
vehicles had arrived in the town. Armed men in civilian clothes alighted. They
had lists of names of people who had been involved in the election campaign for
the opposition MDC in the area."They are hunting us down," he said. "Each and
every one of us is being sought out, beaten and punished for supporting the
MDC." Some have had their homes burnt down, large numbers of people have been
beaten and a local opposition organizer said :" it is terrible, there are
injured people everywhere."

Later another call came, this time the story was of events on one of
the few remaining commercial farms. Again the eye witness account was of armed
men. There were youths too, many scores of them and they were clearly high on
drugs and drink. The drumming, singing, shouting and intimidation carried only
one message: there will be no change in Zimbabwe. Scores of stories like this
are coming in from all over the country. Armed men, drugged youths, lists of
opposition supporters and activists, and a wave of fear sweeping over our
country. None are being spared : men, women, children. Beating, burning,
threatening and intimidating is the result of the brave voices of Zimbabweans
across the country who voted for change.

While this goes on the economic and domestic situation for families
everywhere has reached absolutely critical levels. In the fortnight since the
elections food supplies in the shops have dropped to almost nothing. One major
supermarket in my home town this weekend had lines and lines of scouring powder
but no basics at all - no rice, pasta, flour, cereals, tin, jars or in fact
anything edible. All fresh produce from milk and eggs to vegetables and meat has
become virtually unobtainable as thugs and mobs close down farms, terrify
workers and rob the nations shelves of the last few mouthfuls of food. A friend
who helps feed children whose parents have died of AIDS, waited for almost 5
hours at the local Grain Marketing Board Depot while every single bag of the
precious staple grain was loaded onto army trucks. She left empty handed and had
also failed to find any beans, fish or even soya to buy for vulnerable children
hungry and alone.

The reaction of our neighbours to the terror and tragedy unravelling
Zimbabwe is beyond all understanding. South African president Thabo Mbeki
emerged from an hour long meeting with Mr Mugabe saying: "There is no crisis in
Zimbabwe." Fourteen African heads of state met for 12 hours in Zambia and
emerged saying: "election results must be released expeditiously." Of course we
don't know what went on behind closed doors but it seems like quiet diplomacy
has again been the convenient smoke screen for Africa's Big Men.It is no comfort
whatsoever to us mums who can't find enough food for our families. It is no
comfort to frightened men whispering on crackly telephone lines about men with
guns on an opposition witch hunt. It is no comfort to farmers trying to grow
food but faced with drugged, drunken youths who want what they've got.
Zimbabweans voted for change a fortnight ago, the MDC announced that it had been
achieved but day by day that change is being painfully, brutally stripped

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