Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town today (Wednesday) appealed to the international community "to give generously" to Zimbabwe's new unity government in response to pleas for help by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
"Although many have had reservations in the past about whether the inclusive government... can work, it is right now the only hope which the people of Zimbabwe have, and we must do all we can to make it work," Archbishop Makgoba said.
He was preaching in St George's Cathedral, Cape Town, at an Ash Wednesday service (marking the beginning of Lent in the Christian calendar).
Archbishop Makgoba, supported by Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury and other leaders of the world-wide Anglican Communion, has declared today a "day of prayer and fasting for Zimbabwe."
Referring to the people of Zimbabwe in his sermon, Archbishop Makgoba said: [verbatim excerpt follows]
"The injustice, the oppression, the hunger, the deprivation they have suffered is hard for us to grasp. Their needs are desperate: the most basic medication for clinics and hospitals; money to pay for the marking of last year’s exam papers, let alone civil servants’ salaries.
"Although many have had reservations in the past about whether the inclusive government agreed upon last September can work, it is right now the only hope which the people of Zimbabwe have, and we must do all we can to make it work.
"I therefore appeal to all South Africans, including the Government – and also to the SADC nations, to the European Union and the United States – to give generously in response to the pleas for assistance of Prime Minister Tsvangirai.
"As Anglicans, we can fast for the people of Zimbabwe and donate what we save as a result of our Lenten observances to support them.
"Most important of all, we can pray for Zimbabwe and all its people, and I ask that you do this, not only today, but throughout Lent – persevering in your prayers, as new circumstances with the power-sharing government unfold – persevering in prayer, like the runners of our second reading."
Issued by the Office of the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town
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