The Leap from Paper to Reality in Zimbabwe

By Nontando Hadebe 02-11-2009

A brief recap on some of the latest developments in Zimbabwe. The opposition agreed to be part of a transitional unity government aimed at stabilizing the country and preparing it for fresh elections. The sticky issues of genuine power sharing, release of political prisoners and activists, freedom of speech, and basic human rights are still outstanding.

One encouraging sign was the dropping of treason charges against a senior official of the opposition party, but sadly, the same treatment has not been extended to other political prisoners. These issues are indicators for assessing the effectiveness of the unity government in promoting democracy, freedom, and justice. The ideological gap between the two parties is so great that it will take extraordinary efforts to bridge the gap and forge a common vision that will benefit the country.

Although the document outlining the unity agreement contains ideals such as justice, democracy, and freedom, the leap from paper to reality will be the litmus test. Failure to realize these ideals will 'bury' a nation already facing complete collapse. This African proverb captures this warning: "Lack of cooperation between water and papyrus lets fire destroy the common swamp."

Let us continue to pray that the ideals of justice, freedom, and democracy will be the foundation of a new Zimbabwe. We pray Amos 5:24 together.

But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!

Nontando HadebeNontando Hadebe, a former Sojourners intern, is originally from Zimbabwe and is now pursuing graduate studies in theology in South Africa.


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