MY heart bled when I read the story headlined “Church raises $30m for Mugabe” (Zimbabwe Independent, January 9).
I have always wondered why the crisis in
Zimbabwe is taking so long to resolve. When I still attended a Pentecostal church in Bulawayo, my pastor then, in 1996 predicted that by the end of 1998, Mugabe would be out of power. It is now eight years since that prophecy and Mugabe still sits on that throne with even stronger glue pasting him onto it.
But the antics of Pastor Tom Deuschle of Hear the Word Ministries has given me the answer to why this crisis will persist for a long time yet. The church is clearly in confusion and is divided. How else do you explain the difference between the principled and firm condemnation of human rights abuses perpetrated by the Mugabe regime by the vocal Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo Pius Ncube and the rewarding of Mugabe for these same deeds by Pastor Deuschle on the other hand? I had great respect for the Pentecostal movement and its umbrella body, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ). But after Pastor Deuschle’s exploits, all that respect is gone now.
There is no scripture in the Bible that says we should honour our leaders let alone by way of money. The Bible only encourages us to “pray for our leaders and all those in authority”. Honour is bestowed upon those deserving it and not just anybody. To say that you are honouring the “Office of the President” is also stupid. What Pastor Deuschle is trying to do is to justify his love for Mugabe and his policies. In fact, you, Pastor Deuschle, do not even deserve the title of Pastor. Mr Deuschle will suffice. A pastor takes care of the flock and does not set a trap for them by colluding with the wolf.
Were there no worthy causes to collect an offering for? Is the current food crisis threatening to kill millions of starving Zimbabweans not enough to move you? How about the families that are struggling to afford basic health care for their HIV/Aids-afflicted relatives? Or the children that have to go bed on empty stomachs because their parents find it next to impossible to eke out a living in this hyperinflationary economic environment? How about the thousands of victims of Zanu PF brutality for supporting opposition political parties?
Could that money not have been raised to assist the Ndebele people who lost more than 20 000 of their kith and kin to the Mugabe-sanctioned, North Korean trained Fifth Brigade in the 1980s. Are you aware Mr Deuschle, that the skeletons of Mugabe’s “Gukurahundi” adventure still lie in disused mines and shallow graves even up to today? And yet you choose to “bless” Mugabe with $30m when none of the victims has received a single cent as compensation for his deeds! Were you trying to seek some cheap publicity or something?
Even Satan would be surprised at your feat. Mr Deuschle, you have certainly outdone the Devil. The recent political violence that has claimed the lives of two opposition supporters at the hands of Zanu PF hoodlums is a result of you, Tom Deuschle. Your money has gone towards the payment of those youths who have inflicted untold suffering on innocent people. Their blood is on your hands just as it is on those Zanu PF officials responsible for the training of the “Green Bombers” in the art of killing.
I applaud all of those members of Hear the Word Ministries that refused to contribute to this crazy, satanic and sadistic offering. All that is left for them is to leave that church and find a truly God-fearing one. Mr Deuschle, you have sold out Henry Olonga, a faithful member of your church who stood up to be counted as he “mournrd the death of democracy” in Zimbabwe and had to flee into exile when Mugabe’s CIO hounded him.
You, Mr Deuschle, will go down in history as a lily-livered Zanu PF apologist in the same class as one Reverend Obadiah Msindo and rivalled closely by Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver. You, Mr Deuschle, have betrayed the people of Zimbabwe by giving the man responsible for our suffering, Mugabe, $30m. May God have mercy on you.