People
11:04 pm
Sun August 17, 2008

Area Congregation Discusses Crisis In Zimbabwe

By the end of the week, there was no clear answer to who would be leading Zimbabwe. The efforts of South African President Thabo Mbeki to mediate talks between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai failed, and Mbeki headed back to South Africa where he addressed other African leaders this weekend.

Meanwhile, the people of Zimbabwe continue to live in fear of state-sponsored violence, and suffer from an economic crisis that has devalued their currency and caused a million and a half of the country's 12 million people to face starvation, according to non-governmental organizations.

What happened is that in March, the opposition, represented by Tsvangirai, won a general election, which most believed to have been fair and honest. President Mugabe demanded a runoff in June. Before the runoff, Mugabe's army harassed, tortured, even killed opposition supporters. Many were threatened and watched to see if they voted for Mugabe. Mugabe won.

Now, Tsvangirai refuses to recognize the results of the runoff, which he and outside observers agree was won by force and intimidation.

Politics and economics are just a part of an ongoing crisis in Zimbabwe. Like many African countries, Zimbabwe also is afflicted with the AIDS virus.

With all these troubles, you might wonder what one person or group can do? How can person or group can make a difference? That was the question members of the United Methodist congregation discussed at a recent gathering in Fairway, Kansas.
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