Most of us are, at least, somewhat aware of the difficulties in Zimbabwe these days. There has been an economic crisis for many years now, much greater than we can imagine in America and the western world. Just a few days ago, the BBC reported that the inflation rate has recently been at 231,000,000%! I cannot even comprehend such. They also report that, due to such inflation, prices change by the hour. And, not only that, but Zimbabwe faces its worst cholera epidemic in 15 years.
Even more, this past summer of 2008, in the midst of elections for Zimbabwe’s President, there was much debate and scandal surrounding the precedings. Robert Mugabe, who has been the head of the Zimbabwean government since 1980, and currently the President, was being run against in the elections by Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Most people saw Tsvangirai’s run for presidency as a good thing, hoping to bring about change to a nation rifled with economic strife, disease and an oppressive government. Following the elections in the summer, it seemed that Tsvangirai had tallied more votes and won his place as the new President of Zimbabwe. Yet, Mugabe was not going to go out easily as he challenged the vote total (this is a little bit worse than the Florida situation of 2000 in America’s election). There are only hypotheses as to what really took place, but in a subsequent run off between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, Mugabe came out the winner. Rumors are that many Zimbabweans had received threats from Mugabe’s team and the military. Thus, with fear controlling the votes of many, Mugabe was able to win the run off.
Yet, with so much controversy surrounding the elections, and with help from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a deal was struck to allow Morgan Tsvangirai to become Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister while Robert Mugabe remained as President. There was to be a shared government rule. And, though this deal was confirmed back in September, Mugabe continued with much resistance.
But, after pressure from the SADC to move forward with the decision of a shared government by the end of next week, the BBC news reported this today.
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe is due to sign into law a constitutional amendment allowing his rival Morgan Tsvangirai to become prime minister.
The signing of the bill will bring a power-sharing unity government in Zimbabwe one step closer.
The deal between the two men’s parties was agreed in September 2008 – but has been mired by bitter disputes.
Mr Tsvangirai is due to be sworn in next Wednesday, 11 February, with Mr Mugabe remaining as president.
This is, no doubt, a great blessing to finally see things moving forward in Zimbabwe. While it’s problems will not be immediately solved, it seems they are headed for change. But we must be encouraged to pray that Mugabe and Tsvangirai can work together. And we must call on God to work in this land full of pain and crisis.