SOUTH AFRICA: IMBISA Expresses Solidarity with Church in Zimbabwe

By Arnold Neliba

CAPE TOWN, AUGUST 21, 2020 (CISA)– The Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA) has expressed solidarity with bishops of Zimbabwe who in recent times have face criticism from the government for highlighting increased hardship and suffering in the country.

“We commend you for your prophetic voice in naming and condemning the brutalisation of ordinary people by security forces and the underlying corruption that has led to the total collapse of services to the people by the government,” reads a statement signed by Rt. Rev.  Sithembele Sipuk, President of Southern Africa Catholic Bishops Conference in a statement released August 20.

Quoting from the teachings of St Paul, “…we are one body in union with Christ, and we are all joined to each other as different parts of one body” the bishops expressed closeness with the suffering of Zimbabweans as highlighted by the bishops.

“Your voice of encouragement to the people of Zimbabwe is what they needed to hear in this time of their greatest need. It is opportune and appropriate that this letter was issued on the eve of the Feast of the Assumption of Mary,” they said, taking hope from and holding on to the assurance given that “God has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly.”

They encouraged bishops in Zimbabwe to continue speaking prophetically insisting that as shepherds of the people, their voice of support gives hope to the people. SACBC assured of their support and prayers that the suffering may soon come to an end.

Also voicing on the developments in Zimbabwe in solidarity with the bishops, The Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) applauded the courage and prophetic role of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) played by issuing the Pastoral Letter the titled, “That March is Not Ended”.

“As ZCCB, we share the pain the majority of Zimbabweans and the Catholic Bishops in particular are experiencing at the moment. This is because we are all members of the same Family of God, the Church,” ZCCB president Rt. Rev. George Lungu said in a statement.

Bishop Lungu further encouraged the Government and people of Zimbabwe not to abandon the noble agenda of pursuing the path of true and genuine dialogue aimed at resolving the challenges they face.