SPECIAL ACNS REPORT
Tuesday, 28 June 2005
The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), on the last day of its meeting in Nottingham, has called on the Government of Zimbabwe to reverse its policies of destruction and begin to engage in development that eradicates poverty. The Council also called on the African Union to persuade the Zimbabwe Government to remedy the suffering of its people and supported the efforts of the Church of England to encourage the UK Government to reconsider its policy of repatriating refugees to Zimbabwe.
After a debate marked by compassion and concern for the people of Zimbabwe, which included hearing that a Church Army sister in Zimbabwe had written that "it is as though Bulawayo has been hit by a tsunami", the Council passed the following resolution:
"The Anglican Consultative Council acknowledges the social and historical imbalance that the people of Zimbabwe have experienced in the tenure of their land, their implications the current crisis and the need for them to be addressed. However, the Council:
- notes with profound sorrow and concern, and condemns, the recent political developments in Zimbabwe where hundreds of thousands of persons have had their homes destroyed and have become displaced persons within their own country, and where:
- after up to two years of drought many families are dependent on relief but food distribution is often refused to those who do not support the political party in power
- those suffering from HIV/AIDS and orphans do not receive appropriate help from the government
- there are serious restrictions on democracy
- there is little freedom of speech or tolerance, and human rights are denied
- politicians and uniformed forces act as if they are above the law
- people are arrested, imprisoned without fair trial, and tortured.asks the government of Zimbabwe to reverse its policies of destruction and begin to engage in development that eradicates poverty;
- calls upon the leadership of the African Union to persuade the government of Zimbabwe to consider the humanitarian aspects of the situation in that country, and to act to remedy the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe;
- supports the Church of England in its approaches to the government of the United Kingdom to reconsider its policy of repatriation of refugees to Zimbabwe;
- welcomes the proposed pastoral visit of church leaders from South Africa to Zimbabwe to take place in the near future;
- assures the Christian churches and the people of Zimbabwe of its prayers in this time of national disaster."