Mission - Resources - Stories

Systematic Injustice - Abuse of power against the poor

This article illustrates the level of injustice being experienced by many people in Zimbabwe.  This is one out of many.  The denial of food, which is a human right, to a starving citizen is one among many other unjust acts being experienced by many people in Zimbabwe.  These acts of injustice are committed against some citizens who are supposedly known to be supporters of the opposition party.  Hundreds and thousands of such people are faced with starvation and yet the government does not feel responsible for them.
 
Misuse of authority, power, wrong understanding of democracy (totalitarianism), lawlessness, disregard of human rights are some of the factors that have created the unjust system we have today in Zimbabwe.  The goal of injustice is to kill or eliminate those people who are considered undesirable elements in the society.  Indeed the church whose missionary mandate it is to condemn injustice cannot turn a blind eye against such an evil whereby food is denied to a 79 year old man.  Murinda - 79 years old - is left to starve because he is suspected to support the opposition.  The only way for him to survive is to collect leaves.

The hallmark of an unjust regime is that it is not accountable to all its citizens but only to the few who support it for their selfish ends.  It is sad though, even in a country like ours, where glaring examples of injustice are committed, you still have a few co-opted voices from the church saying: There is peace and justice in Zimbabwe.  But such voices are familiar in the history of the church.  The British church did not say a word to condemn the so-called pioneer column in the early 1890's when thousands of black Zimbabweans were killed.  The "German-Christians" supported Hitler.  Some individual church leaders in the USA supported their government in Vietnam killing and maiming of the indigenous population.  We see this being repeated in the Burundi/Rwanda massacres and in the Sudan and in many other places around the world.  The church has to live with some of its members who totally misunderstand the teaching of Jesus, that is to preach the gospel of peace, justice and love.  In spite of all this, those voices which have refused to be co-opted have to continue to speak against injustice. 

Communion in Mission 2006
The Rt Revd Sebastian Bakare
Bishop of Manicaland