Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Zimbabweans, let’s not lose hope

Published in The Standard, Sunday, 24 April 2011 13:08

This time of Lent should help instill in us that hope which is unshakeable. Jesus Christ did not avoid going to Jerusalem where he knew he was going to be humiliated and finally killed on the cross. It was going to be an uncomfortable experience but he never looked back. The good thing though about Christ was that he had spent the rest of his life doing good for everyone.

Recently I travelled from Nairobi in the company of two cabinet ministers, one from Zanu PF and the other from MDC-T. Not that we were coming from the same meeting but we just boarded the same plane. They were coming from Ghana and connected their flight to Harare in Nairobi. It was very early in the morning. As we waited at Jomo Kenyatta Airport, I observed that these two guys were so at peace together. They moved around the airport helping each other with their luggage.

I commented to one guy who was waiting for the same plane that if only people knew what was happening. It was like these guys were friends abroad and enemies at home. The discussion ended with us agreeing that when at home they played to the gallery of their supporters. If they were seen to be loving each other then they were said to have sold out. Should it be like this?

Even when we walked to the plane these guys shepherded each other in an amazing way. This is what it should be like at home and away. There is hope for us in Zimbabwe. Christ did not die in vain. Last Sunday Christ entered Jerusalem triumphantly riding on a donkey even though his fate was inevitable. He was king but he humbled himself and won the world. Now he is king of the world.

The majority of the Christian community in Zimbabweshould cling to this hope that all will be well again soon. The talk of elections should not scare us whether they come this year or next year. If we show love to each other, there will be no violence, no beating each other, no forcing people to vote for a particular party.

If you force people to vote for you or your party, you are just as bad as a rapist. Let those who deserve it win, win smartly by showing love. When we have done that we will teach the world a lesson or two. Yes we can do it.

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge

Sunday, April 10, 2011

No forgiveness without restitution

Published in The Standard, Sunday, 10 April 2011 16:30

We have often shared the message that forgiveness is guaranteed. Which means that whatever we do, we will be forgiven. Is this true? The Bible does not support such a position. Jeremiah (14) talks about the Lord refusing to forgive the people because they were not just and promising them drought, famine and sword.

As a people, Zimbabweans stand rebuked for the injustices that have gone on for the last 10 years or so. We have as a nation gone on a spree, disinheriting people, grabbing their lifetime savings, chasing them from their homes and so forth. We have treated this as normal. Isn’t this true?

Those of us who are feeling comfortable feasting and supping at other people’s sweat should feel ashamed. There is no way one can feel really blessed by staying in a house you never contributed to build. A curse hovers around our heads. We have sinned and should seek justice soon.

There is no amount of prayer and pleading for forgiveness which is going to persuade God to forgive us without correcting the mistakes we made. African religion has a strong point on this one. The Shona say kugona ngozi huiripa — meaning one is only freed when they have done a restitution. You have to return what you have grabbed, full stop. Soothing each other by turning to religion for forgiveness will not correct the wrong done.

If one has a credit to settle with a credit shop, one has to settle it. Turning to God so that the credit is settled through forgiveness is fantasy. Give to Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar and to the credit shop what belongs to it. Let us not be dismayed when we do not feel satisfied. It is because we have been cruel and greedy.
As a result of our misdemeanours, there is a lot of corruption. We act like we are possessed by a demon that makes other people suffer.

We see this across the political divide. At their rallies they call for the demise of others. Is politics about destroying others or it is about smart competition? Should it be so dirty?

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Hate language consumes its own

First Published in The Standard, Sunday, 03 April 2011 13:58

When I tune in to ZBC radio stations and sometimes to ZTV, I cannot help but hold my breath. Are the authorities running these stations aware that the language being used is often derogatory and abusive? Has our nation sunk so low as to imitate the communists of old?

One communist leader Anatole Lunarcharsky coined this slogan at the height of communism: “We need hate; only then will we win the world.”

Radio Leningrad was then quoted bombarding verbal insults: “The Gospel and the Christian legends must be fought without sympathy and with all possible means,” declared the announcer.

Is this the route we desire to take when dealing with people who do not think like us or support our party?

I used to chide those who say history repeats itself. Now I am convinced that some of us only learn after the event. Lots of preparation should go into programmes that are aired on broadcasting services. It is dehumanising to listen to these so-called trained broadcasters scolding everyone else except themselves and their masters.

One may argue and say the time has come for such jibes. And so what! If hate language does the job then there is no need to beat people before and during elections.

There was a time when certain abusive language was not permissible on public radio stations but not anymore. Zimbabweans are known all over the world as the most charming people, but not at home. We have inherited and received one of the best education in Africa and we seem to be busy destroying it all.

Hate language is more dangerous to the one who uses it. One may think they are doing well by freely saying unprintable words (which in this country are now printable) yet those who listen to you can clearly see through all that. Those who are responsible for this degrading situation on our erstwhile good stations should know that everybody is watching, including those who support them. Soon they will be saying, “We also did not like it, what could we have done.”

Bad language and hate language devour their perpetrators. You reap what you plant and plant what you reap. Those who live by the sword will die by the sword, so goes the old adage.

Rev Dr Levee Kadenge