A New Dunkirk

Two brief cameos from today in Bulawayo, both concerning the plight of the hundreds of thousands caught up in this Tsunami of oppression and cruelty.

The first was a single woman - in her early 20's, about 7 months pregnant and walking down a track towards town. She had on her head her entire belongings. We stopped and asked her where she was going - "to look for a place to stay" she said. Her home had been burnt to the ground that morning and she had been told she had to be gone or they would come back with dogs and whips. She has haunted me all weekend, where will she sleep? What will happen when the baby comes along?

The second was at just after six in the morning near a local city market. A couple from our Church was down there to buy fresh produce when it came in from the rural areas. Lying on the side of a wall near the street was a teenager, dressed in rags; he had died in the night. Probably of hunger and exposure and totally alone. The Police were called and they took his body away to be buried in an anonymous grave somewhere. How many, oh Lord are going to die tonight?

All day people from our local Churches have been moving people to church halls across the City - horse boxes, vans, pick ups and trucks. All volunteers responding to a call to move the vulnerable to safety. Safety from a Government that was elected to meet their needs. Safety from the Police who are supposed to protect and defend and instead have become our tormentors. What we do tomorrow is yet to be decided.

Eddie Cross
Bulawayo, 12th June 2005