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Zimbabwe a 'slow genocide', warns Methodist bishop

By Adriana Stuijt     Jan 11, 2009 in Politics
Zimbabwe is in 'a slow genocide' . This was the warning issued today by bishop Paul Verryn, minister of the central Methodist Church in Johannesburg. He has turned the church into a place of refuge for desperate Zimbabweans.
The Central Methodist Church also was the venue for today's press conference by the Zimbabwean Civil Society Forum - whose members had just returned to South Africa from a secret eight-day fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe.
“It is devastating. We have failed Zimbabwe. I felt a sense of shame,” said Kumi Naidoo, president of Civicus, the World Alliance for Citizen Participation. He said Civicus has now produced a documentary, filmed over the festive season, called Time2Act, (not to be confused with the various websites by that name). The documentary draws attention to the lack of pressure being exerted on Mugabe’s government by SADC, the South African government and the African Union. Naidoo calls on South African and African civil society to boost humanitarian efforts in Zimbabwe. He didn't say where and when the documentary could be viewed, however.
Verryn said: “South Africans have forgotten so quickly what it feels like to be vulnerable, to be marginalised.
“We are witnessing a slow genocide in Zimbabwe. They are a bunch of thugs and gangs who are ruling a country.”
Elinor Sisulu, director of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, called on South Africans to remember their history and the support they received from Zimbabweans during those years.
She also harshly criticised the recent abduction and detention of Zimbabwean human rights activist Jestina Mukoko and the disappearance of hundreds of activists in that country, describing the gruesome allegations of torture in Mugabe's prison.
This weekend's attacks by township residents - all South Africans -- who targeted Zimbabweans in Durban last weekend, also was a matter of deep concern, warned Sipho Theys, who coordinates the Forum.
“Our own South African brothers are telling us they don’t want us here. We don’t want to be here — but there is nothing for us in Zimbabwe.”
More about Mugabe, Paul verryn, Slow genocide, Central methodist church, Kumi naidoo
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