The body of Muammar Gaddafi is in cold-storage in Misrata. It is unclear how exactly he died because different people keep giving different accounts of his capture and death. What we do know is that people are queuing up to see the corpse with their own eyes, to take photos and celebrate that he has gone.

And what is wrong with that? Another example of liberal Western sensitivity that hates to see blood and is too wet or squeamish to be happy at the departure of a tyrant?

The world cannot be worse off without Gaddafi holding any power. The madman is now gone for ever and his tyrannical empire is shattered. Good.

But, as long as we think the rule of law is essential to any civilised or governable democratic society, we cannot pick and choose when the rule of law should apply. Gaddafi’s brutality might well provoke a vengeful response from those who suffered, but suffering does not justify sidelining the rule of law when personally convenient. If we want Robert Mugabe to be held to account by the rule of law which he has abandoned in Zimbabwe, we have to hold to its universality. We cannot hold him to it while allowing others to dismiss it in acts of vengeance. A greater deterrent to other dictators would have been to see Gaddafi and his sons in court, not in fridges.

A civilised society must always see the human body as more than just ‘stuff’. That’s why we bury our dead with dignity. That’s why we don’t just chuck our loved ones into the sea as if the body meant nothing once the life has left it. The body matters.

So, what does it say to us and our children when we glory in the brutalised and torn body of another human being? Is it justified by voyeurism? Or vengeance? Or does it represent a more worrying and capricious reduction of human value?

Muammar Gaddafi was an execrable tyrant who caused misery to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. But, using that fact to justify summary execution, physical torture, desecration of a body bodes ill for when we want to argue that bodies are to be honoured, torture to be rejected, murder to be abhorred. We can’t pick and choose when the rule of law is to apply.

The utterly corrupt and very ex-Bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga, has described the Archbishop of Canterbury as “an irrelevance” as Rowan Williams begins his visit to Zimbabwe. Just how deluded do you have to be to come out with something like that in the face of Zimbabwe’s madness?

Having had very close involvement with Zimbabwe over the last decade, it is hard let go. This beautiful country, with it’s wonderful people and its heroic Anglican Church, deserves so much more than the rape and pillage it has suffered during the last twenty years of Mugabe’s tyranny. The Dioceses of Southwark and Rochester continue to work hard to support, sustain and encourage the Anglicans who are now suffering oppression at the hands of a Mugabe-backed renegade bishop in a country devoid of the rule of law.

This morning the Archbishop of Canterbury preached to thousands of people in an outdoor stadium in Harare. The Cathedral has been stolen by Kunonga with the backing of the judiciary and the police.

Is Dr Williams an irrelevance? Or is he a brave man who, trusting in the God who is on the side of the oppressed, is walking into the lion’s den in order to demonstrate that however loud the roar, the lion’s teeth are blunt and will one day soon fall out? His attempt to meet Mugabe might fail; his plea for justice might be to no avail; he might even be humiliated by the despot. But, by being there he will have shown the regime its moral nakedness and challenged its legitimacy. The cry for justice and mercy will not ultimately be silenced.

Because this is part of our problem. It is not only that some refuse the invitation of God to share his abundant love and generosity. It is all too easy for us human beings to try and block that love and prevent it from reaching others. You know very well, dear brothers and sisters, what it means to have doors locked in your faces by those who claim the name of Christians and Anglicans. You know how those who by their greed and violence have refused the grace of God try to silence your worship and frustrate your witness in the churches and schools and hospitals of this country. But you also know what Jesus’ parable teaches us so powerfully – that the will of God to invite people to his feast is so strong that it can triumph even over these mindless and Godless assaults. Just as the Risen Jesus breaks through the locked doors of fear and suspicion, so he continues to call you and empower you in spite of all efforts to defeat you. And in the Revelation to John, the Lord proclaims that he has set before us an open door that no-one can shut. It is the door of his promise, the door of his mercy, the door into the feast of his Kingdom.

In your faith and endurance, you have kept your eyes on that open door when the doors of your own churches have been shut against you. You have discovered that it is not the buildings that make a true church but the spiritual foundations on which your lives are built. And as we together give thanks for the open door that God puts before us, we may even find the strength to say to our enemies and persecutors, ‘The door is open for you! Accept what God offers and turn away from the death-dealing folly of violence.’

Empires come and go. The trouble is, they seem permanent when you are under them.

Most of the Old Testament prophets keep banging on (in the best possible sense, of course) about the need for God’s people to see the world through God’s eyes and not be taken in by the apparent power of the ’empire’. Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Greece, Rome, Britain – they all came… and they all went. The thousand year Nazi Reich wasn’t even a toddler when it expired in a blaze of global horror.

And one of the constant themes to have come out of some Christian Churches in Europe in the last few decades has been the warning that the American Empire would also be time-limited… and the theologies that assumed its permanence (because blessed by God) would need some further attention in due course.

Now, in the Middle East, we see regimes tottering in the face of popular resentment and protest. It looks like the powerful dynasties are very worried while Iran looks on with a smile. The western-backed corrupt regimes are losing their grip and the script will have to be re-written in Washington and London. It feels like 1989 (the end of Communism in Europe) all over again, but a bit more worrying. And let’s hope Robert Mugabe is watching his telly and worrying about contagion.

It is easy to identify what we don’t like. It is not hard to complain about the things we don’t like and the injustices or inequities we resent. But, it is a little bit harder to put together something new and better than what has so quickly and easily been destroyed. (It’s like when people come to me with a problem and I ask them what their solution is…) It’s easier to direct blame and criticism than it is to constructively build something in its place.

And that is what will happen in those countries which now face radical change. They will also face radical disappointment – because these things never bring Utopia (or other fantasies).

I think we should always be suspicious of putting our hope in the apparent solidity or permanence of ‘worlds’ that we now know can change in a very short time. The walls fall down and it isn’t always clear what will be put up as an alternative. The empires come and go – we need to keep seeing through them and remembering their transience.

(And I am not convinced that Andy Carroll will replace Fernando Torres at Anfield. Silly money all round.)

While we are waiting to see what the reality of the ‘Big Society’ might look like here in the UK – and while we are absorbing the implications of the Wikileaks deluge of Iraq documentation (as well as wondering if Liverpool will be bottom of the Premier League by the end of this afternoon), it is good to hear that all is going well again in Zimbabwe.

Last week (14 October, to be precise) Immigration Minister Damian Green made a written statement in Parliament. He made the case that the time is now right to send asylum seekers back because conditions in Zimbabwe have improved so much since the formation of a Government of National Unity in 2009 between President Robert Mugabe (Zanu-PF) and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (Movement for Democratic Change). This is what Green said:

I am announcing today our intention to end the current suspension of enforced returns of failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe. There are some Zimbabweans who continue to have a well-founded fear of persecution; we continue to grant protection to those people. As with any other nationality, every case is considered on its individual merits and against the background of the latest available country information from a wide range of reliable sources including international organisations, non-governmental organisations and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.The courts have found that not all Zimbabweans are in need of international protection and given the improved situation on the ground in Zimbabwe since the formation of the inclusive Government in 2009, the time is now right to bring our policy on returns of failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers into line with that on every other country. This will mean that failed asylum seekers from Zimbabwe will from now on be treated in exactly the same way as failed asylum seekers of all other countries when it comes to enforcing returns.

Those found not to be in need of protection have always been expected to return home. We prefer these individuals to return voluntarily and many hundreds have done so. It is in everyone’s interest for people to return to Zimbabwe and use their skills to support themselves and help rebuild the country. The Government support this process and are in active dialogue with Zimbabweans to explore how this process can be further assisted.

It remains open to Zimbabweans to return home voluntarily under one of the assisted voluntary return (AVR) programmes which are available for individuals of all nationalities. There are three programmes available under which all returnees receive support in acquiring travel documentation, flight costs to their country of origin and onward domestic transport, airport assistance at departure and arrival airports and, for those eligible, up to £1,500 worth of reintegration assistance per person including a £500 relocation grant on departure for immediate resettlement needs and, once home, a range of reintegration options which are delivered “in kind”.

The Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the Unified Tribunal Service (IAC) will be hearing in the near future a further country guidance case on general safety of return to Zimbabwe which we expect to reflect the improvements in Zimbabwe since the previous country guidance case was decided in 2008. Therefore, although there is no reason why Zimbabweans who both we, and the courts, have found not to be in need of protection should not now be removed, we will not enforce the first returns until the IAC has delivered its determination. Those who have no right to remain in the UK, and who chose not to return voluntarily, will then face enforced return, in exactly the same way as failed asylum seekers of all other countries.

This change in asylum policy which I have announced today does not reflect any change in our categorical opposition to human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. We will continue to call, both bilaterally and with our international partners, for an end to all such abuses and the restoration of internationally accepted human rights standards in Zimbabwe.

So, there is still no rule of law. Violence is still being used against ordinary people. The forthcoming referendum on the new Constitution looks likely to be followed by a new election. And reports we get every day from contacts on the ground in Zimbabwe tell of fear, threat and intimidation. Just because the US Dollar has allowed a degree of economic stability should not be interpreted as an ‘improvement’ in the overall situation in the country.

Consider the following few facts and be grateful for the ‘improvements’:

  • The Bishops of Manicaland and Harare have been out of Zimbabwe for a couple of weeks because they were threatened with assassination. One has returned – against advice from within Zimbabwe – but has been given emergency contacts with diplomats in case of trouble. (If someone turns up to shoot you, do you ask him to wait while you phone an embassy?)
  • Court rulings in favour of the Province of Central Africa in respect of legal status, appropriation of assets and use of buildings belonging to the Province are ignored by the Police who claim to have orders ‘from above’ which overrule the court rulings.
  • Police intimidation and violence against ordinary people who choose not to leave the legitimate Anglican Church in favour of the utterly corrupt (and ‘excommunicated’) Nolbert Kunonga – now self-appointed ‘Archbishop of Zimbabwe’ and unrecognised by any other Anglican anywhere!
  • Incursions into other dioceses by the deposed bishops, Kunonga and Jakazi, backed by police and intimidatory in the extreme.
  • Harrassment and abuse of returned (failed) asylum seekers from the UK.

Well, all of that is clearly of little relevance to the ideological needs of the coalition government in the UK to get shot of as many asylum seekers as possible in as short a time as possible.

OK, sarcasm aside, at least let’s be honest about what is going on and why. If it is for economic, political or ideological reasons, let’s admit it. But, don’t let’s pretend that Zimbabwe is a safe place to be returned to – especially from the old colonialist enemy and fount of all evil, the UK.

Given that I am one of those who fundamentally agreed with Morgan Tsvangarai that Zimbabwean expats in the UK need to go back as soon as possible in order to help re-build their country and take responsibility for establishing their democracy, I don’t write this lightly. We shall await the ruling of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the Unified Tribunal Service with both interest and concern – especially as the Minister seemed to know the likely outcome four days before the court even met.

When the Tories claimed, before the election campaign proper, “we’re in it together”, I responded somewhat scornfully. It didn’t exactly go down well in all quarters… But, given the economic and financial problems facing the world (not just a previously Labour-led Britain), it is simply a statement of fact to say that no one can escape the challenges. Nevetheless, I still maintain that some are “in it” more than others to the extent that some are more financially cushioned and economically secure than others and the view looks different from the bottom.

However, that isn’t the point of this post. While in Germany at the 2nd Ecumenical Kirchentag (until yesterday) it became obvious that the vast range of Christians present in Munich really did think that we are all “in it” together. This presented itself in several different guises:

  • Christians do not feel excluded from intelligent political, social and economic discussion and decision-making in Germany – and assume a common responsibility for the direction in which the country moves. The common ownership (despite variation of view) was striking.
  • The abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church was not something to be gloated over by Protestants or regarded as a problem for the Vatican to solve; rather, it was seen as a source of shame for all Christians who are bound to stand together in repentance, prayer and support for victims. This was not only mature in terms of humanity, but particularly in terms of Christian theology. (Bishop Alan Wilson has had a go at this in his excellent post today.)
  • The need for united Christian mission and service was heard to be almost self-evidently true. Again and again we heard the call (from all ‘parties’) for Christian churches to speak with one voice and work to overcome the scandal of denominational suspicion and division.

Whether this can be maintained is a real question. But, it reminded me of another place where it seems Christians have finally begun to recognise the need for and cost of being “in it together”: Zimbabwe.

The Anglican Dioceses of Harare and Manicaland in Zimbabwe have been subject to what can only be called manipulative persecution by the Mugabe regime. The Government has backed the ousted bishops who no longer have any standing or recognition in the Anglican Communion. Despite pleas for ecumenical hospitality from other churches (that is, allowing regular Anglican congregations to use Roman Catholic, Methodist, etc. church buildings for their services), the Anglicans have most often been left to suffer from this oppression alone. When you see the beatings and other pressures, you can understand why. At a roundtable meeting I chaired recently at Lambeth Palace I raised this matter and together we called for ecumenical identification with the Anglicans who had been picked off by Mugabe.

Last week Jennifer Dube wrote in the Standard:

… representatives of the Zimbabwe National Pastors Conference, Christian Alliance and Ecumenical Support Services who met recently in Harare, endorsed a multi-pronged strategy to help [Bishop Chad] Gandiya’s group, in a move that might mark a new twist to the conflict.

Bishop Ancelimo Magaya of the Grace Ablaze Ministries International said after the meeting: “We need to identify with our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Church. If we do not do that, we will be sinning and if we take time to do it, the evil that is happening in the Anglican Church will come to us… Christians must look at similar divisions in trade, students’ and lawyers’ unions among other sectors to understand the severity of the Anglican saga. For us here in Harare, when some of these things happened to the people of Matabeleland, we bought the dissidents’ story and ignored those people’s suffering. Then came the killing of people with the formation of the MDC and we sat back and said, ‘It’s politics’. The divisions continued with the farm seizures and we said it was for the whites. It came again with the destruction of people’s houses in 2005 and those in Borrowdale said it was for those in the ghetto. It swept through the business sector with the price slashes, continued with the 2008 violence and now, banks and so many other companies are at risk because of yet another divisive piece of legislation. We as the church should refuse to bow to this wave of divisiveness.

This has echoes of Martin Niemoeller’s Stuttgart Confession and represents a much-needed awakening to the fact that when one church suffers, all suffer. Christians can never ignore the suffering of others – whoever they are.

When I was back in Zimbabwe in August 2009 things were looking up. The shops were full, life and commerce were picking up and the police seemed to be encouraging a return to the rule of law. That seems to be in doubt now.

Last week the new Bishop of Manicaland, Julius Makoni, was stopped from attending an episcopal meeting abroad by detention and harrassment at Harare Airport. This was at the behest of the ousted ex-Anglican Bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga.

This follows repeated episodes of harrassment of churches in the Dioceses of Harare and Manicaland – again at the behest of the ousted ex-bishop. Congregations are being prevented from using their church buildings and violence is being used by the police to intimidate the Anglicans for whom Kunonga is no longer their bishop.

Kunonga is not recognised as a bishop in the Anglican Communion. Yet, he continues to be supported by Mugabe who also seems to be keen (once again) to support his indefensible ecclesiastical supporter.

It is important that people know what is happening there. What happens to Anglican opponents of a deposed and discredited bishop is a good guide to whether the rule of law (essential to the future recovery of Zimbabwe at lots of levels) is being restored or ignored.

Never having had one before, I am enjoying the first week of a sabbatical (study leave). Having, however, spent most of the week suffering from a miserable lurgy, I am already seeing the benefit of a clearer mind and time to read and think.

Back in August I passed through Johannesburg airport on my way back from a short visit to our link diocese of Central Zimbabwe and picked up a book in the airport bookshop. Called Dinner with Mugabe, it is presented as ‘the untold story of a freedom fighter who became a tyrant’. In fact, I learned little that was new from the book, but I also found it a rivetting read. Based on interviews with people who have known Robert Mugabe – some since childhood – it adds anecdotal flesh to the bones of other narratives of his extraordinary life.

In the book Heidi Holland does some basic psychological analysis of Mugabe in an attempt to understand the man who became a monster. She rightly observes that we can do little to address the challenges thrown up by someone like Mugabe if we simply see him as a monster and don’t penetrate through to the humanity that has become so distorted. Of course, understanding is never the same as condoning or justifying.

In the case of Mugabe, several episodes in his life (abandonment by his father, adulation by his mother, the inculcation of the idea of God-given specialness, treatment by Ian Smith, paranoia and megalomania, etc.) are identified as possible roots for the appalling cruelty and apparent unemotionality of this haunted, fearful and (ultimately) disastrous leader. Though not exactly ‘deep’ and ultimately predictable, this is a book worth reading.

But it reminded me of another book I read back in 1980 called The Face of the Third Reich. Joachim C. Fest wrote the first attempt by a German (or anyone else for that matter) to understand the psychological make-up of leading Nazis in the Third Reich. Instead of simply damning them, he attempts to understand what made these people into the monsters they became. Again, he says that we cannot progress unless we seek to understand rather than simply categorise and vilify who do horrendous things. So, he looks at people whose names are notorious and tries to comprehend what shaped them. It is a remarkable (and, in its time, a very brave) book.

What these two books do is to reject what we often see as the ‘tabloid’ worldview: let’s demonise certain people (for example, murderers, paedophiles, rapists, etc.) and call them monsters – an approach that absolves the rest of us from doing the hard stuff of examining ourselves honestly and intelligently in order to find root causes of bad behaviour. If we can assume that the ‘monster’ is not like us (or, better, that I am not like him/her), then we have an object for our vitriol and someone on whom to pour our ownunreflected judgement. We never get challenged because ‘he is not like me/us’.

Of course, to think seriously about such stuff is to risk being called a wet liberal by those who think the world needs to be made up of ‘us’ and ‘them’. But a society that refuses to address the real and complicated roots of human badness is one that is condemned to repeat the unaddressed fruits of that individual and collective badness.

I was reminded of this when I first visited the Holocaust Memorial at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. The memorial to the Warsaw uprising is located on two walls of one side of a square. One has a relief of the heroic young people who started the uprising and fought against the tyrants. The other has a group of Jews with bowed heads being led like sheep to the slaughter. The message is clear: people respond in different ways and both are to be respected.

However, the German soldiers herding the doomed Jews have no faces. Our guide explained that the sculptor could not bring himself to humanise such evil by giving them faces. I asked if this was actually a problem in itself: that we remove the behaviour of Nazis from the ambit of our own potential and thus exonerate ourselves from having to face our own evils – that ordinary people easily become corrupted into behaving inhumanely. That in the right circumstances anyone of us might become ‘monsters’.

It was made clear to me that the question was unwelcome, inadmissable and should not have been asked.

Tuesday 4 August 2009

Travel to Zimbabwe used to be so much easier: a single ten-hour flight from London Heathrow direct to Harare. Unless you want to risk flying with Zimbabwean Airlines, you now have to fly to Johannesburg, hang around waiting for the Transit Desk to get its act together (it doesn’t…) and then fly back to Harare with South African Airways. Perhaps the (forced) softening of Mugabe’s stance towards Britain and the West – seen most recently in the re-admission of the BBC and other media agencies into Zimbabwe – might eventually restore confidence in direct travel from the UK to Harare.

It is the first time I have flown with Virgin and I am hooked. Every aspect of the journey was superb; I was very impressed.

Having not slept overnight for more than 30 minutes, I was pretty tired and travel-weary by the time I got out of the airport in Harare. Bishop Ishmael (with whom I am staying – Bishop of the Diocese of Central Zimbabwe) took me for lunch in the centre of the city where we were joined by the recently-consecrated Bishop of Harare, Chad Gandiya. Chad is an old friend from London and it was great to see him in his new role and with the vision and energy to set about the hard work ahead of him.

For those new to ‘Zimbabwe’, the Diocese of Harare was taken apart by Bishop Nolbert Kunonga who was displaced two years ago and is no longer recognised as an Anglican bishop anywhere in the Anglican Communion. Bishop Sebastian Bakare (the retired Bishop of Manicaland) was brought in for a couple of years as caretaker bishop while the process began to identify the next permanent bishop. Sebastian is a brave man who challenged the Mugabe-backed Kunonga and has seen the diocese through its own internal struggles as well as the nadir in the economic and political conditions of this once-thriving country. The future now looks relatively reasonably hopeful – for the first time in many years.

We spent a long time discussing various matters to do with Zimbabwe and the Church here before we were joined by a British diplomat with whom I have communicated by phone and email since before he came out here a year ago. Again, his insights were astute and stimulatingly helpful. He observed that the country now bears no resemblance to how it was when he arrived exactly one year ago.

When I was last here in April 2007 there were constant electricity cuts, the water kept going off (sometimes for days on end), the shops were emptying and the inflation rate was an absurd 10,000%. By the time the diplomat arrived here inflation was heading towards 230,000,000% (whatever that means), the currency had become worthless, nearly 90% of the population was unable to work and the situation was appalling. Cholera was kicking in at the end of 2008 and the future looked grim – possibly violent. The stitched up re-election of Robert Mugabe as President – a shameful and scandalous travesty of justice – saw violence and intimidation on a huge scale.

Zimbabwe 1 009Zimbabwe 1 010The contrast now is remarkable. There are cars on the roads, the streets are full of people looking more optimistic and purposeful than they did in the past and the supermarkets are full of food and all the other goods you’d expect to find in them. Since Morgan Tsvangirai joined Mugabe in the Unity Government – a high-risk decision for lots of reasons – things have begun to change for the better in Zimbabwe. Despite losing his wife and grandson in two separate accidents since his appointment as Prime Minister, he has stayed on track, changing the landscape of Zimbabwean possibilities.

Zimbabwe 1 011The Zimbabwean Dollar is now dead. The national currency is de facto the US Dollar, but trading is also done in South African Rand, Sterling and the Euro. Confidence in the future can be measured by the willingness of businesses to use credit and re-boot the economy. Optimism about the future might be hedged in with cautious caveats born from past experience, but people are walking taller and there is a sense of purposefulness about the place again. It simply feels different. One professional person put it to me like this: ‘Nobody wants us to go back to where we were last year; it simply cannot happen.

These are early days in the rebuilding of the country and many struggles lie ahead. But there are signs of hope now that were not here two years ago.

The sham trials of Iranian opposition leaders demonstrate that the powerful never learn the lessons of history. However powerful they appear to be, they remain mortal and justice will be done – if not in their lifetime, then after they have died… when the truth inevitably comes out.

I go to Zimbabwe on Monday and will meet again people whose lives have been destroyed by the Mugabe regime. How they now view the unity government I do not know. Nice words from Mugabe do not now bring back the dead or restore the broken bones of the innocent or weak.

Epigrams of MartialWhile on holiday last week I came across the Epigrams of Martial (born 40AD in Spain) going cheap in a bookshop. Amid the hilarious and the smutty I came across Book Two Epigram 82 and thought it apposite:

Abscisa servom quid figis, Pontice, lingua? / nescis tu populum, quod tacet ille, loqui?

Which, being translated (by James Michie in the Penguin Classics edition), says:

Why did you cut out your slave’s tongue,

Ponticus, and then have him hung

Crucified? Don’t you realise, man,

Though he can’t speak, the rest of us can?

The Anglican bishops, meeting in Bulawayo for the consecration of Bishop Cleophas Lunga on Sunday 1 March 2009, issued the following statement. It deserves wider acknowledgement, so I publish it here.

welcome-to-zimbabweStatement on the Government of National Unity by the Bishops of the Church of the Province of Central Africa at the Consecration of the Right Reverend Cleophas Lunga as Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Matabeleland on the 1st Sunday of Lent 1st March 2009 at the Parish Church of St Columbus, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

We the Bishops of the Province of Central Africa in holding and believing that all people are created equal in the image of God and that God wills his people to live their lives to its full potential abundantly, cautiously welcome the formation of the Government of National Unity in Zimbabwe.

This development comes after a long period of political polarisation which created immense suffering of the people. However we are concerned about the continued detention of some political and human rights activists which is indicative of business as usual contrary to the spirit and objectives of Global Agreement. The continued detention of the activists is not conducive to the spirit of reconciliation and to the promotion of peace and justice. Justice delayed is justice denied.

The Bishops of this Province urge the political leaders in this formation to put the interests of the people and the development of the nation in the fore. The leaders of the Government of National Unity should think profoundly and reflectively on the past weaknesses such as corruption, patronage, selfishness and regionalism and avoid them by dedicating themselves to the promotion of the rule of law, respect of human rights and good governance.

The bishops pray that the parties involved will faithfully commit themselves to the fulfilment and spirit of the objectives enshrined in the Global Agreement. This demands a high level of transparency and consultation for all parties involved.

We urge our people to play an active role in the success of the Government of National Unity by fervent prayer and safeguarding the gospel values of love, peace and righteousness. We further ask our people to genuinely reconcile themselves to one another and above to our God of peace and justice.

God bless Africa

God bless Zimbabwe

Guard her children

Guide her leaders

Give her peace for Jesus Christ’s sake

Bishop Ishmael Mukuwanda (President of the Service), Central Zimbabwe Bishop Godfrey Tawonezvi (ACZ Chairman), Masvingo Bishop Sebastian Bakare, Harare CPCA Bishop Peter Hatendi, Manicaland CPCA Bishop Trevor Mwamba, Botswana Bishop Robert Mumbi (ZAC Presiding Bishop), Luapula Bishop Derek Kamukwamba, Central Zambia Bishop David Njovu, Lusaka Bishop William Mchombo (Acting Provincial Secretary), Eastern Zambia