Zimbabwe is now in a desperate and chaotic condition' Apart from the tyranny and the torture which grow daily. hunger stalks millions in the country. Commonplace items are often unobtainable. Maize, the staple diet, is indeed sometimes to be had on the black market, and is only belatedly and reluctantly being imported - with foreign help and in inadequate quantities. Sugar, cooking oil and the like are in desperately short supply. The public water supply and electric power frequently break down for long periods. Fuel (petrol etc) is often simply not to be had, 'in spite of the long and futile queues. Garbage is not collected. Inflation rockets. Britain, colonialism and the drought are blamed for everything, though people did not go hungry during Rhodesia's frequent droughts.
Even worse is the environmental devastation which will take generations to repair. The farmland is being wrecked, forest land burned for firewood, and the game in the reserves is being snared, shot and eaten. Many of the country's assets are being sold off to South Africans, the Chinese or other foreigners. And the Zimbabwe government is intensifying its brutal campaign against its own people, arresting literally thousands of men and women who are struggling to put food into the mouths of their destitute families. Its filthy goals are filled to overflowing.
The root of much of the trouble is the lack of foreign currency, in spite of these foreign sales. The main supply is cut off by the West, which is unable to protest or intervene more actively. Yet jet fighter 'planes (to repel British attacks!) make their way into the country, as do Chinese passenger aircraft. Meanwhile there are lots of luxury cars for the elite.
Incidentally, I note that Didymus Mutasa, a malicious schoolboy when I was priest-in-charge of St Faith's Mission Rusape, is now mentioned as a possible Prime Minister of Zimbabwe!
Dreams of an "orange revolution" in Zimbabwe (as in certain former Soviet lands) remain just that - dreams. A tortured, starving and unarmed people, without friendly neighbors, struggles to survive, not to cast off its chains. A military revolution seems entirely impracticable.
We have much need and opportunity for prayer and practical help for our friends in Zimbabwe as well as those who have been driven out of the country. Pray especially for the prisoners: former MP Roy Bennett, now transferred to the even more brutal Chikurubi Gaol, Kevin Woods (who draws and sends us beautiful pictures), Michael Smith, Philip Conjwayo and many, many others. Prayer is strength for those who otherwise have little hope. It often, too, brings unlooked-for responses - even though we can never just tell God what to do.
Rev Arthur Lewis, Rhodesia Christian Group