Australia's Churches Disturbed By Zimbabwe Events
Church Leaders React To Events In Zimbabwe
Recent news of the effects of the so called ‘Operation Restore Order’, (Operation Murambatsvina) currently being conducted by the government of Zimbabwe, has caused consternation among Australian Church leaders.
At last week’s Executive meeting of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA), leaders heard reports from Zimbabwe of the misery being brought about by this operation, in which whole urban settlements are being bulldozed. Sometimes this is happening while children are still inside the houses, and some have been killed.
“According to our sources, a lot of trauma could have been avoided had the government gone about this differently,” said the Revd John Henderson, General Secretary of the NCCA. “Children have watched the demolition of their homes, housing co-operatives have lost their whole investment, and many people are being left exposed to the winter weather. While we appreciate the need for governments to regulate the affairs of their county, this suffering seems to be unnecessary.”
“In consultation and solidarity with the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, the NCCA hopes and prays the government of Zimbabwe will uphold the rule of law in all its activities, facilitate the quick and humane relocation of people displaced by this ‘clean up’, and provide for their basic needs in a permanent and sustainable manner,” said Mr Henderson.
On behalf of Australian churches, the NCCA, through Christian World Service, works with local churches through its on ground partner the Zimbabwe Council of Churches to do local development work. The funds to do this are provided through public donations (www.ncca.org.au).