HomeLettersWhy the silence?

Why the silence?

WHAT is being done to make the regional and international community fully aware of the scope of the tragedy that is unfolding in Zimbabwe — a totally man-made tragedy?

sans-serif”>What is being done to get national and international organisations and leaders to speak out, and to start taking serious measures against this inhumane regime?

To their great credit, the Catholic bishops have recently added their voices to those who have condemned what is happening. What is being done to shame those who still remain silent into speaking out?

Has the Vatican been urged to speak out? After all certain senior leaders in Zimbabwe claim to be Catholics. Is there a Papal Nuncio in Zimbabwe? If so, why has he not spoken out?

A lady recently elevated to high office takes pride in wearing a Salvation Army uniform on Sundays. Does the Salvation Army take pride in having high-profile members directly associated with such inhumanity directed especially against the poor?

If it does, then the Salvation Army must have totally abandoned everything that it once stood for, and forgotten why it was established. If not, why is it so conspicuously silent when the poor so desperately need all the support they can get?

If there is one single Christian in Zimbabwe who is not prepared to speak out against this tragedy then they have absolutely no concept of the Christian message.

If there is one single human being, of whatever religion — or of no religion — in Zimbabwe who is not prepared to speak out against this tragedy then they have no idea of what being human should mean.

If we are incapable of effectively organising our own people, the least we can do is to work tirelessly to ensure that the maximum amount of international and regional pressure is brought to bear, both from governments, organisations and individuals.

Is the Broad Alliance ensuring that the international community is fully aware of the scale of what is happening here?

Is the African Union, and all its members, being made aware that it is not wealthy white farmers who are now the targets and victims, but rather the poorest of black Zimbabweans — Zimbabweans who have been made poor by the policies of this destructive regime?

Does anyone seriously believe that this regime will stop its relentless campaign of victimisation and terror? If they can carry out their destructive policies in the high-density townships without any reaction, is there any doubt that they will do the same everywhere else?

Are there still some who think that they will be safe by remaining silent, or by paying “protection money”, or that living in Glen Lorne or Highlands will protect them from what has been happening in Glen View and Highfield?

“First they came for . . . and I didn’t speak up . . . Then they came for me — and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

Pastor Niemoller’s famous statement should be the watchword, not just for the silent cowardly majority of ordinary individuals, but — more importantly — for leaders of nations and organisations who not only can speak with more authority but also with much less risk of victimisation.

Given the known sympathies, and silence in the face of suffering, of the Anglican Bishop of Harare, I am now ashamed to admit that I was baptised an Anglican.

RES Cook,


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