Statement on the Arrest of SCMZ Membership in Zimbabwe
Several members of the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe (SCMZ) were arrested by the government in power leading up to the run off elections
As part of the ongoing onslaught on civic society organisations in Zimbabwe, the Ecumenical Centre, a conglomeration of faith based democracy organisations which house the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe (SCMZ), the Ecumenical Support Services (ESS), the Christian Alliance (CA) and Zimbabwe National Pastors Conference (ZNPC) and PADARE Men’s Forum on Gender has been raided at around 1300hrs, Monday 09 June 2008 by heavily armed members of the police, central intelligence and military personnel.
The Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe a chapter of the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) based in Geneva Switzerland which stands for promoting justice and peace in Zimbabwe has received with great shock the subsequent raid, arrest and detention of some of its employees and executive members. In the process police ransacked the SCMZ offices and confisticated, computers, laptops, digital cameras, and a mini bus. The movement sees this as a move to incapacitate the movement since it has been fully geared towards sensitising Christian students and youth on their rights and responsibilities in the face of a break or make Presidential runoff pencilled for the 27 of June 2008. Those arrested are, Prosper Munatsi (SCMZ General Secretary), Sandra Dzvete (office intern), Langelihle Manyani (Vice Chairperson), Matsiliso Moyo (Gender Secretary), and Precious (Finance and Administration Officer).
SCMZ condemns such acts of intimidation directed to civic society players by the state security agents. SCMZ views the arrests and detentions as part of the broader campaign of intimidation orchestrated against defenceless citizens. The ZANU PF government is clearly displaying its degrees in violence. This is the time for the whole world to see and judge for itself the true characteristic of a government which has on many times tried to convince the world that it is not only legitimate but democratic. The government has abdicated its duties by declaring war on its own people and creating an atmosphere of general insecurity among the populace. It is our sacred duty as civic society and opposition forces to continue fighting for the opening up of democratic space and justice in Zimbabwe. To members of the ecumenical family the time has come for us not only to speak but also to act against injustice, oppression and corruption according to the standard of the word of God.
Psalms 72:1-4 “May he judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with justice! Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills in righteousness! May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor!
This statement was forwarded to Global Ministries by Varsha Vijayakumar, GM Global Mission Intern serving in Switzerland with the World Student Christian Federation. Varsha is working on international advocacy efforts on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe.