Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Press Release


For immediate release

Bishop Levee Kadenge says the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe has crippled the nation. The bishop says his country is ‘under siege and full of distress’.

Bishop Kadenge is the national convenor of the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, which is supported by Christian Aid.

‘We do not deserve what is happening,’ says Bishop Kadenge. ‘We are demoralised, we have problem after problem. But we must remain faithful to the idea that Zimbabwe will have a good future.’

The cholera outbreak has affected more than 12,000 people and has killed close to 600. It was triggered in part by the breakdown in the country’s infrastructure and healthcare system as well a chronic shortage of clean water.

‘Cholera is just one of the problems faced by Zimbabweans,’ says William Anderson, Christian Aid’s country manager in Harare. ‘Many communicable and treatable diseases are rife due to the complete collapse of all public health systems.

‘Anthrax, TB, malaria, and diarrhoea are all present in the country at unprecedented levels. These are all due to the failed state, malnutrition and HIV.’

Bishop Kadenge stresses the churches have an important role in sending messages of hope and steadfastness to people across the country. He says the establishment of a Commission of Truth and Reconciliation is vital.

‘Such a commission, which must be led by the church and not the politicians, is a priority. We are a wounded people in desperate need of healing. We cannot pretend that nothing has happened. We must do our part and bring people together and repent,’ says the bishop.

Zimbabwe is also facing an extreme food shortage. Mr Anderson says it is ‘verging on famine’.

The UN’s World Food Programme says 4.2 million people need food aid but that it only has funds to feed 3.7 million.

There has also been a worrying spike in abductions of human rights workers in Zimbabwe. On 3 December, Jestina Mukoko, the executive director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, was abducted from her home. She has not been seen or heard from since then, while the police deny arresting her.

‘We must pray for the future of Zimbabwe,’ says Bishop Kadenge. ‘Civil society organisations, NGOs and human rights groups are all part of God’s broader church and we must keep faith.’


By Judith Melby - Christian Aid

Monday, December 8, 2008



07 – 12 – 2008 Bulletin

The 9th General Assembly of the All Africa Conference of Churches AACC opened in Maputo with a message of hope; “Africa step forth in Hope.” Such a theme is a reminder of the huge responsibility that the Christian Church has in reshaping the African continent for the betterment of our present and future. The theme is a theological reflection on the acclamation of Jesus, “Lazarus come out,” (John 11:43), when he stood face to face with the grave of Lazarus. Such a message is indeed a wake up call to the African Church to be the visible and audible presence of Jesus the Christ to a hurting and despairing continent. Can this theme be the spark that will ignite a genuine prophetic witness?

The message of the 9th General Assembly constituting service resounded with a desire for renewal and relevancy: “Jesus restores life to those whom he resurrects,... In Jesus Christ the power of death is defeated,” declared the Rt Rev Dr Nyatsako –ni-Nku. The bishop went on, to argue that “too many people enjoy unnecessary superfluous life…”, while the challenges of decay face the church. “Jesus wants to set people free from being prisoners of fear, dear and failure,” declared the preacher. Can this be the beginning of honest, faithful, intelligent and practical sermons??? Surely, we have to move on to better preaching, better organizations, value laden worship, relevant religiosity and service. Such worship and service will indeed be an action of faith and courage: “Africa step forth in faith.” We do not need to be prisoners of our dogmatic teachings, prisoners of our archaic traditions, prisoners of our faithless fears, prisoners of our sins and prisoners of our shadows.

The challenges of faith and being Christian today relate to our ability to critique the socio, political, economic and cultural practices that tend to dehumanize the beauty of our relationships in our families, communities, societies, states and in the global environment. Sadly, the manifestations of tensions, wars, and genocide in our beautiful continent are a clear testimony that the church has not been a means of grace. The message of Christ must indeed be a ‘painful’ reminder to those who claim to love and follow Christ, “Tend my sheep” (John 21:17). In order for the Church to remain relevant there has to be a clear commitment to “…Step forth in faith,” the faith that propelled Jesus, the Christ, to shout out for justice and mercy: “But you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice , mercy and faithfulness.” (Matthew 23:23b).

Let the 9th General Assembly be a path breaking assembly redefining the “Mission Dei” (Mission of God) through the church and setting up a standard that will reincarnate the church amongst real people, real situations and real challenges. God bless Africa and the Church (people).

Sunday, December 7, 2008


United Nations Human Rights CouncilMedia Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ)Weekly Media Update 2006-25Monday June 19th 2006 – Sunday June 25th 2006
IN the week under review Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa addressed the newly established United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, during which he provided the institution with a clear example of government’s warped perception on the role of non-governmental organisations operating in the field of good governance and human rights.
SW Radio Africa (22/6) and the Zimbabwe Independent (23/6) reported Chinamasa accusing these NGOs of trying to "destabilise their popularly elected government" after being "clandestinely" and "non-transparently" established by developed countries.
Said Chinamasa: "Their objectives include destabilisation and interference with the evolution of our political process, undermining our sovereignty (and) creating and sustaining local opposition groups that have no local support base".
He then appealed to the new UN council to "prohibit" direct funding of local human rights NGOs by developed countries, saying if "any (financial) assistance is desired" it should only be "channelled through the UN system".
Such unlikely claims and his brazen attempt to seek universal endorsement of government’s determination to further erode civil society’s democratic space serves to expose the authorities’ fear of having their undemocratic conduct subjected to scrutiny.
But while Chinamasa dismissed allegations of human rights violations as "fabrications" of the West and assured the Council that government would uphold the "human rights of all its people" as provided for in "Charter of the United Nations and in our Constitution", events on the ground proved otherwise.
For example, during the week the media carried six fresh cases of rights violations. These included the arrest of members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise, the barring and disruption of MDC gatherings by the police, who justified their actions on grounds that they were merely enforcing the repressive Public Order and Security Act (POSA).
In one of the reports, The Standard (25/6) reported that the CIO had "threatened" some church leaders whom they accused of holding an "illegal" meeting in Highfeild.
Reportedly, one of the pastors, Bishop Levee Kadenge, has subsequently gone "underground after he was threatened with death by a CIO operative" who warned him that the intelligence agency wanted to "wipe him out".
To further illustrate the extent to which the country had become a police state, the paper cited other recent incidents in which "state security agents" had threatened student leaders and workers’ representatives against staging anti-government protests.
Visit the MMPZ fact sheet
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Clergymen arrested, quizzed over 'new party' Standard (Zimb)Date posted:Sun 6-Aug-2006. Date published:Sun 6-Aug-2006, By Foter Dongozi
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Wakatama said police accused them of working on plans to form a new political party, a charge he dismissed outrightly as false.

The government on Friday arrested and detained Methodist Church in Zimbabwe’s Bishop Levee Kadenge and two other pastors in the Christian Alliance as repression escalates in the country. Kadenge was the convenor of the Save Zimbabwe Convention held last Saturday during which leaders of opposition parties pledged to form a broad alliance to fight Zanu PF. Pastors who were arrested include a blind Reverend Ancelimo Magaya and his wife, Daphne, who also acts as his assistant and Reverend Brian Mugwidi also of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe. Also arrested was newspaper columnist, Pius Wakatama, who is a member of the Christian Alliance’s publicity section. They were arrested at a road-block mounted just outside Harare while they were coming from Bulawayo. Wakatama said they were detained for two hours on Friday at the notorious Law and Order section at Harare Central Police Station. They were ordered to return yesterday and were grilled for three hours. Wakatama said police accused them of working on plans to form a new political party, a charge he dismissed outrightly as false. "We were arrested while coming from Bulawayo where all the bishops from Matabeleland wanted us to brief them on the operations of Christian Alliance. In the end, the police said they were not going to charge us but ordered us to work closely with some bishops who are supportive of the government’s policies," Wakatama said.


20 December 2006
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) wishes to express its concern over the
continued harassment of human rights defenders by the Zimbabwe Republic Police and
other state agents.

ZLHR is aware that on 25 November 2006, at around 06h30, eight (8) police officers,
four (4) of whom were in uniform, attended at the home of Bishop Levee Kadenge at
Number 3, 4th Avenue, Mabelreign, Harare. The policemen told Bishop Kadenge he was
under arrest for allegedly stealing cattle which he had moved to Chivhu. Bishop Kadenge
had indeed moved some of his own cattle to his brother and nephew’s home in Chivhu to
assist them with their farming. One police officer forced Bishop Kadenge to change his
clothes in his bedroom while watching him. The police officers then took the Bishop
from his home and drove to his plot in Sandringham, some 75 km from Harare, to
investigate the issue of the stolen cattle. Bishop Kadenge’s wife who insisted on not
leaving her husband’s side was taken with them.

During the drive to Bishop Kadenge’s Sandringham Plot the police officers interrogated
him on why he was against the land reform programme. One of the police officers went
through his cell phone, and asking him why he had the telephone numbers of certain

After establishing that Bishop Kadenge indeed had cattle at his plot the police officers
insisted on driving to Chivhu, almost 200 km away, to see the eight cattle he had given to
his brother and nephew. On the way to Chivhu the police officers were again
interrogating Bishop Kadenge on his “negative” attitude about the land reform
programme. In Beatrice the police officers stopped for a one-and-a-half-hour lunch,
without any food being given to Bishop Kadenge and his wife, who had been made to
leave their home without having eaten or taken any money. In Chivhu the police officers
saw the eight cattle and could not prove their allegations that there had been three other
stolen cattle; they however told Bishop Kadenge’s brother that they would detain the
Bishop because he had not shown them the permit for moving the cattle to Chivhu. The
Bishop’s brother promised to bring the permit to Harare.

The police officers drove back to Harare and arrived at around 00h45 on Sunday
morning. Bishop Kadenge and his wife were made to sit in the police car at Harare
Central Police Station for at almost 45 minutes. Bishop Kadenge and his wife were
released at around 01h00 on Sunday morning and told to go home without being offered
transport back, such that they had to ask their son to drive them home.