Tenuous calm follows Zimbabwe presidential elections

By August 8, 2018

Zimbabwe (MNN) — Zimbabwe’s presidential elections last week resulted in a flare of violence, but it was quickly doused in a tenuous calm. However, there may be more conflict brewing below the surface.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared the winner of last week’s elections by a slim margin. Nelson Chamisa‚ opposition leader of the MDC Alliance, claims the election results were rigged and accuses the government of lashing out against MDC supporters.

“People [supporting the MDC] in the city went out to demonstrate and it ended up turning into a violent protest and six people died in the process,” says Stephen Maphosah of ZimZam Global. “That really raised some alarms. But eventually, when it was cowed, we haven’t experienced anything of that nature as of the last few days.”


Harare, Zimbabwe

On Tuesday, the European Union and the United States condemned Zimbabwe soldier’s post-vote crackdown on protesters. Now, Chamisa may be preparing to take his rigged election allegations to court. But with the presidents of South Africa, Burundi, Tanzania, and Kenya endorsing Mnangagwa’s win, Chamisa’s accusations are losing ground.

Meanwhile, how Mnangagwa carries out his role as president will significantly impact Zimbabwe’s future. Mnangagwa is the only other leader Zimbabwe has seen apart from Robert Mugabe, who ruled the nation since its independence in 1980 and mired the country in corrupt policies.

With this new leader in place, there may be hope for a new era.

Maphosah shares, “I think on paper, [Mnangagwa] has made quite a lot of changes for the old regime and many people welcomed the changes that [are] meant to create an environment where business can begin to thrive again. So I think people are now waiting [to see] how is he going to follow through with all the things he has put in place…to deal with issues in a more pragmatic way. So definitely, there is a high expectation.

“We are just praying and hoping that the calmness that is prevailing right now will continue.”

So far, Maphosah says he hasn’t seen the election have a major effect on the Church, besides believers feeling encouraged or disappointed with the outcome of their preferred candidate.

(Photo courtesy of ZimZam Global)

ZimZam Global’s ministry focus in Zimbabwe is not on political reformation, but spiritual transformation. ZimZam Global is part of the Alliance for the Unreached and as such, they are passionate about mobilizing Christians to reach unreached people with the Gospel.

Maphosah says the main strategy ZimZam Global highlights is children’s ministry! “We are working very hard to help the churches understand that there is a dynamic opportunity for us to use the children’s ministry…. This is an area where we have seen a major shift in terms of population. That is an area where we need to harness the potential to witness, to reach many people with the Gospel of Christ.”

Please pray with our Christian brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe today. Ask God to bless the nation and allow for truth and justice to prevail. Pray for authentic peace as Zimbabwe transitions leadership.

“I think the Church is being spread too wide and too thin in terms of depth in the areas of their faith. So the prayer that we need is that we have more strong and authentic Christians that are able to become the voice that is necessary in a country that has gone down to low levels of corruption, and begin to be a catalyst in some way in their witness.”

Click here to learn more about ZimZam Global’s ministry!

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