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Alliance leaders arrested
January 31, 2007
(26 January 2007) the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance launched a chapter
of the organisation in Kadoma as part of a nationwide drive to establish
Christian leaders’ networks in the country’s ten provinces. More
than 500 church leaders and Christian lay people were in attendance.
The aim of establishing these networks is to create local Christian
Alliance chapters as platforms to equip Christian leaders on church
based advocacy and peace building.
In the course
of the meeting just on the stroke of midday armed police details
disrupted the launch arresting eight members of the Christian Alliance
and a video camera man, who however was later released. The eight
leaders from the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance are still in custody
awaiting trial on Monday, (29 January). The state is alleging that
the Alliance incited the crowd to violence. This allegation is totally
baseless as the Christian Alliance exists to bring about peaceful
social transformation in our beloved country .
The use of armed
police to disrupt a religious meeting is a clear abuse of power
and authority by the police. The continued harassment of Christian
Alliance leadership by state agents is cause for concern to the
Christian community at large as this infringes on freedom of worship,
expression and association. The Christian Alliance leaders who were
detained are Pastors; Ray Motsi, Ancelom Magaya,(visually impaired)
Gerald Mubaira, Zvizai Chiponda, Watson Mugabe, Lawrence Berejina,
Mr Jonah Gokova and Mr Pius Wakatama .
detention of the church leaders comes at a time when the socio economic
situation in Zimbabwe has deteriorated to alarming levels as evidenced
by the strike by medical personnel in all the major hospitals and
the pending industrial action by teachers. The majority of Zimbabweans
are living far below the poverty datum line and thousands of children
have failed to resume school because of lack of school fees. As
Christian leaders no amount of intimidation will silence us as this
would be tantamount to a denial of our faith and calling .We condemn
this latest act of wanton violation of fundamental human rights
and disregard of freedom of religion. We demand that the government
opens up democratic space and start depoliticization and demilitarization
of the public institutions to enable a peaceful social transformation
roll like a river and righteousness like a never ending stream "[Amos
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