The Common Good

Something is Brewing

The combined outcome of events happening at the moment is hard to predict, but something is brewing in the southern African region around the issue of Zimbabwe. Here are "the key ingredients" in this pot:

1. The Southern African Development Community (SADC), a group of regional leaders representing 14 countries in southern Africa, are meeting this weekend. Top on the agenda is the situation in Zimbabwe.

2. At this meeting there will be a change of leadership from the president of Zambia to the president of South Africa.

3. The Zimbabwean opposition party leaders are expected at the meeting, but yesterday their passports were seized at the airport, preventing them from leaving Zimbabwe. Their passports were subsequently returned.

4. Botswana has threatened to boycott the meeting if there is no resolution to the Zimbabwe crisis by the time the conference starts.

5. The largest trade union organisation in South Africa (COSATU) will be holding marches against the Zimbabwean and Swaziland governments' presence at the SADC summit.

6. COSATU is also planning to boycott all imports passing through South Africa to Zimbabwe, from Sept. 3. Most Zimbabwean imports come through South Africa.

7. The power-sharing deal between ZANU-PF and the opposition party (MDC) has hit a brick wall. The contentious issue is power and control of the military.

8. Temporary shelters set up by the South African government for victims of xenophobic violence were due to be dismantled yesterday, as the government feels it is safe for the victims to return to communities that burned their homes and killed some of them. A court application barring the closure of these camps will be heard this afternoon.

There is an expectation that these events will not only shape the politics of the region, but the direction of the negotiations in Zimbabwe. May God help us. Please continue to pray.

Isaiah 40:27-29:

O Jacob, (Zimbabwe) how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?
O Israel, (Zimbabwe) how can you say God ignores your rights?
Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
God never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of God's understanding.
God gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.

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