Chaos Consumes Zimbabwe—Again
Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst state violence in more than a decade.
On January 13, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced that his government would hike the price of oil by more than 150 percent, angering the majority of Zimbabweans already heavily burdened with the effects of economic collapse and the worst annual inflation rate in the world, excluding Venezuela.
Mnangagwa said that the price hike would curtail “rampant illegal currency and fuel trading activities.” Instead, it fueled protests across the nation—protests that turned ugly in some places. Civilians blocked roads and looted shops. And law enforcement authorities responded with brutal, overwhelming force!
The authorities blacked out the Internet to limit online coordination of protests—and quite possibly, to also restrict the amount of real-time dissemination of information about the protests and the subsequent government crackdown.
President Mnangagwa had to cut short his trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos to attend to the crisis.
According to human rights organizations, at least 12 people have been killed, hundreds have been injured from assaults, and 78 people were shot. According to Amnesty International, “Up to 700 people, including minors, have been detained after being arrested on trumped-up charges or brought before courts in hearings that do not meet fair trial standards. Hundreds have been denied bail.” That includes several opposition leaders and trade union leaders who organized a national strike.
Amnesty International said that “the onslaught by the security forces in Zimbabwe has seen people killed, arbitrarily arrested, abducted, reportedly raped and jailed on suspicion of taking part in the protests.” It also reported that “children as young as 11 years old have been detained on frivolous charges.”
According to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, the government crackdown has been “systematic torture.”
On Monday, SkyNews shared an eyewitness video report documenting some of the torture: A soldier, a policeman and another security official in plain clothes were videotaped physically assaulting a helpless, handcuffed man. They punched him and slapped him in the face several times—in broad daylight.
This made a lot of headlines primarily because a prominent, foreign news organization managed to capture it on camera.
Year after year, Zimbabweans hope that their fortunes will improve. And year after year, their hopes are dashed by a cruel dictatorship.
Last year, Zimbabweans voted in their first-ever elections that didn’t have dictator Robert Mugabe on the ballot. But his comrades stole the election.
And when the electorate protested the results, the government dispatched the Army to forcibly stop them, killing some—again in broad daylight. Pictures and videos of last year’s crackdown are available on the Internet. In one of these videos, captured in the central part of the capital Harare, a soldier is seen charging forward, dropping to one knee, and shooting at civilians as if he were on a battlefield. He stopped shooting only after a fellow soldier charged him and hit him in the back to stop his out-of-control madness.
Last year, the government said it regretted its brutal actions. But barely a year has passed and the government’s law enforcement is repeating the same brutal actions. Thirty-nine years after gaining independence from Britain, most Zimbabweans are suffering at the hands of a brutal and incredibly corrupt regime.
Why? And who can stop the suffering? When will Zimbabwe truly become free and independent?
In the introduction to his book Mystery of the Ages, Herbert W. Armstrong discussed the many threats and evils facing every nation of this world. Then he made this profound statement: “[T]he truth of God, if known and acted on, could [save] humanity from this threat and all its evils! Stop a moment. Think on this.”
So, let’s stop a moment, and let’s think on the truth of God.
When white Europeans colonized Zimbabwe, they introduced Christianity. Today, most Zimbabweans are Christian. They have forsaken their traditional religions and embraced the religion that they were taught by white Europeans.
When the same white Europeans colonized Zimbabwe, they also introduced Western norms of governance. But today, most Zimbabwean leaders reject those norms of governance—meaning they have not forsaken their own personal or traditional forms of governance.
The Plain Truth magazine, which is the predecessor of the Philadelphia Trumpet magazine, once interviewed Ian Smith, the prime minister of Rhodesia, which became Zimbabwe after independence. He was of white European origin. During the interview, he made some comments that are proving to be more and more profound today.
That interview can be found in the September 1971 Plain Truth. Regarding leadership, Smith said:
All we have done is to insist on certain qualifications. We say let merit be the criterion …. We have always had standards which we believe people should achieve before they participate in government. After all, government is supposed to be responsible and we believe that people should qualify and show a certain degree of responsibility, a certain degree of civilization, before we allow them to take part in government.
Anyone can see that Zimbabwe’s leaders today are deficient in the proper qualifications and responsibility required to administer a government.
Broadly speaking, every government of man lacks the precise qualifications required by God to run a government.
The white Europeans who colonized Zimbabwe also lacked those qualifications.
But the reality is that the norms of governance they brought—even if they failed to implement them perfectly—had much stronger connections to the truth of God.
Just like the Christian religion they brought—even if they didn’t follow it perfectly—was much closer to the truth of God.
Exactly how they gained some access to the truth of God is incredible in itself, discussed in another book of Mr. Armstrong’s: The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
That book has a lot to do with Zimbabwe—because Zimbabwe once was part of the British Commonwealth, which is actually prophesied in the Bible! See Genesis 35:11 and Genesis 48:19.
Zimbabwe is currently suffering under a severe financial crisis, but it has tremendous wealth potential. And that potential is tied to the prophesied company of nations that it was once part of.
Zimbabwe will soon enjoy that wealth. But only after God finishes preparing for what the Bible calls “the Kingdom of God,” which is the government of God ruled by the Family of God. That government will be established on Earth soon. Its leaders will have qualified to serve mankind with godly responsibility. They will bring peace, freedom and prosperity to every man, woman and child. Thank God His Kingdom is almost here. This is Zimbabwe’s only sure hope of escaping economic hardship and tyranny.