The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, and the Zimbabwe Council of Churches together issued a detailed "discussion document" on September 18, 2006. This is an excerpt of the document's preamble. The full version is available at www.kubatana.net .
In the first fifteen years or so of independence, Zimbabwe made tremendous strides in almost all spheres of life. Zimbabweans enjoyed a great sense of patriotism and earned a great deal of respect from their peers on the continent and from the world at large.
Yet in 2005, Zimbabwe celebrated 25 years of independence facing a situation which was a far cry from the lofty ideals that gave birth to the nation in 1980. The once lofty and romantic ideals of independence were lost in the stark reality of a nation divided, traumatized, and impoverished by a political, economic, and social crisis whose solution does not seem to be anywhere in sight. Development indicators revealed that Zimbabwe had suffered a severe downward spiral, an unrelenting economic meltdown characterized by the denudation of professionals and skilled personnel, hyper-inflation, shortages, declines in agricultural and manufacturing productivity, shortages of foreign currency, escalating corruption, dwindling tourism, and the drying up of foreign investments.
These negative indicators inflicted a heavy toll. Health and education deteriorated. The quality of life generally has suffered immeasurably. We have seen the rapid growth in numbers of the rural and urban poor. In addition, HIV/AIDS is having a catastrophic effect on social and economic life.
It is well to remember that the liquidation of colonialism in Africa did not automatically deliver genuine participatory democracy. In Zimbabwe the forging of unity between the ZANU (PF) and PF ZAPU parties in 1987 created a de facto one party state, and this was progressively accompanied by the development of political and social intolerance.
In times past the Church's nation-building initiatives were pursued from three different platforms - the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference, and the Zimbabwe Council of Churches. Now, in a common desire to bring an end to the daily suffering and pain of our people, the Church has come together to speak with one voice, one faith, one hope, and one vision in order to bring about the Zimbabwe that we all want.
Where there is no vision the people perish (Proverbs11:14). Zimbabwe
needs a new national vision to restore our self-confidence, dignity,
and hope. To this end we the Church leaders of Zimbabwe commit
ourselves and the Churches that we lead to do all within our power
and faith, to inspire, encourage and facilitate national dialogue,
debate, and national reconstruction across the broad spectrum
of national opinion, constituencies and stakeholders.
Message of Solidarity, Human Rights, and Justice for Zimbabwe
The TransAfrica Forum (www.transafricaforum.org ) is the oldest and largest African American human rights and social justice advocacy organization promoting diversity and equity in the foreign policy arena and justice for the African World.
Visit JusticeForZimbabwe@transafrica.com  to add your name to the following message.
The people of Zimbabwe have been betrayed, both by the government that represents them and by Western governments that claim to support their desires for economic development. We, the undersigned, support the people of Zimbabwe in their calls for a peaceful resolution to the current crisis.
We urge the government of Zimbabwe to work towards:
1. A new constitution, a people-driven document that ensures that any elected government runs the country to benefit its people, not the elite.
2. Economic justice, specifically:
We urge the international community to:
1. End the "undeclared economic sanctions."
2. Cancel the colonial debt, including apartheid-related debt, along with debts related to failed structural adjustment policies, following an audit of the country's national debt.
3. Work with the Zimbabwean people to identify and repatriate
public funds that have been diverted to private accounts in international