Mugabe Clamps Down on Prayer

The ZANU-PF government of Zimbabwe has turned on churches and pastors in a campaign to clamp down on prayers for justice.

Over the last months, various church prayer meetings have been dispersed by police. Government officials claimed that these prayer meetings had been “convened without (their) permission” and “in violation of the security laws.”

Rev. Sony Chimbuya, of the Church of Christ in Masivingo, and a former senior official of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, was summonsed by plain clothes police and interrogated as to why he was praying “anti-government prayers.”

Rev. Chimbuya reported to the Daily News: “I was ordered not to pray prayers which are political. They even told me that I should write down my prayers for them to scrutinise. They took my Curriculum Vitae and warned me to be careful with my prayers!” Rev. Chimbuya said that he was not a political activist, but a preacher. “ I just believe in peace and unity in the country.”

The Roman Catholic Archbishop, Pius Ncube, has also been repeatedly intimidated and harassed by the police for leading “anti-government prayers.”

One daily newspaper commented in a front page article: “Zimbabweans who have long lost hope in the government’s ability to extricate them from abject poverty and see their only salvation in praying hard for their country, now find themselves with little space to do this.”

Zimbabwe has been suffering under an increasingly oppressive government, which has mobilised mobs to invade and loot thousands of commercial farms. Robert Mugabe, the Marxist dictator of Zimbabwe, has publicly proclaimed: “Farmers are enemies of the state!” ; “We have degrees in violence!”; “I will be a Black Hitler – ten-fold!”

Robert Mugabe came to power in Zimbabwe in 1980, after a vicious civil war, as part of a political settlement organised by the British Foreign Office and the US State Department. Although the British and US governments publicly guaranteed the rule of law and private ownership of property, particularly farms, Mugabe’s government has grown increasingly lawless, even ignoring rulings by the Zimbabwe Supreme Court.

Shortly after taking power, Mugabe’s North-Korean trained 5th Brigade went on the rampage, killing tens of thousands of Matabele tribesmen. The Zimbabwe National Army has also been involved in wars, propping up the unpopular Marxist dictatorship in Mozambique in the 1980’s and the un-elected Marxist regime in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In what has been described as state-sponsored terrorism and a national suicide, Mugabe’s ZANU-PF have been involved in an increasingly violent campaign against all those who are considered unsupportive of the Marxist government of Zimbabwe.

Thousands have been assaulted and arrested, often without charge. Many have been murdered. Over 5000 farms have been confiscated from white commercial farmers, with widespread looting and destruction of property by ZANU-PF “war veterans” and youth militia. The one independent radio station was blown up. The independent Daily News offices were also attacked and blown up. Judges who have made rulings against ZANU-PF have been attacked by mobs, even assaulted in their chambers in court. Supreme Court justices who opposed Mugabe’s campaign of lawlessness have been forced to resign upon public threat of death. Pastors have been arrested for prayer. And hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans are starving in a man-made famine.

Please continue to pray for Frontline Fellowship field workers and evangelists as we seek to smuggle in desperately needed emergency food for starving Christians in Zimbabwe and conduct evangelistic crusades and leadership training courses.