Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Preaching powerful solidarity with Zimbabwe a sermon by Dr Roderick Hewitt

The Council for World Mission (CWM) have been involved in a Zimbabwe summit in Johannesburg. CWM moderator Dr Roderick Hewitt preached a powerful sermon of solidarity with the suffering people of Zimbawe at the opening service for the summit:

I am an African Jamaican who has been influenced by the philosophy of that great Jamaican and Pan-Africanist, Marcus Mosiah Garvey and Rastafarai hermeneutics that strongly embraces an Afro-centric worldview. I can still remember how Jamaicans joined with millions around the world and celebrated the liberation of Zimbabwe from Ian Smith’s illegitimate colonial government. It was Bob Marley who penned the famous words: “Africans a liberate Zimbabwe” in celebration of the liberation struggle that resulted in the overthrowing of the government. To thousands of independent citizens with great hopes and aspiration for their nation he sang out in Harare “Africans a liberate Zimbabwe”. Mugabe and his War Veterans danced on Independence Day, April 18, 1980 as Bob sang the opening verse:

“Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny,
And in this judgement there is no partiality.
So arms in arms with arms, we’ll fight this little struggle
‘Cause that’s the only way we can overcome our little trouble!”
In response the chorus line affirmed: Brother, you’re right, you’re right, so right!

In this judgement there is no partiality
Why then after 28 years, are we gathered in this place to remind the regime that every one within the nation of Zimbabwe got the right to decide the nation’s destiny? It was not right when the Western Powers’ Trojan horse, Ian Smith was in power and it is still not right when Mugabe the liberation war hero has betrayed the revolution because of his regime’s oppression of his people. Bob Marley prophetic words remind us that: “in this judgement there is no partiality”! Marley warned him about the possibility of a great betrayal of the Zimbabwe people:

“ No more internal power struggle;
We come together to overcome this little trouble
Soon we’ll find out who is the true revolutionary
‘Cause I don’t want my people to be contrary”

You can read the whole sermon here.

At the weekly Zimbabwe lunchtime meeting in the ecumenical centre today we heard about how the World YWCA is deeply concerned to get people to look beyond the power politics of the current crisis to the desperate needs of the people, particularly as the humanitarian crisis worsens. The YWCA is doing excellent advocacy work with the UN special rapporteur on violence against women, by monitoring human rights abuses against women and girls in Zimbabwe. It is also encouraging national YWCAs to engage with the governments, churches and NGOs to try to bring about change.