Mr. Chikombe Mazvidza .... "The people who did this are not human beings"
"And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." (Acts 11:26) A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since those early days of Christianity. A lot of blood has been shed, too, and many crimes have been, and are still being committed in the name of Christianity, every day of the year, in every part of the world.
Take, for instance the World Council of Churches.
Under the leadership of Dr. Eugene Blake, author of the now infamous statement that 'The Gospel is abolished. Now is the time for violence", this august body of so-called Christians, in 1970 launched its "programme to combat racism", by setting up a special fund to aid "liberation movements". During the next few years substantial contributions were made to this special fund, as a result of which generous donations were made to the finances of terrorist groups throughout Southern Africa. (Please forgive me calling a spade a spade, and calling a terrorist a terrorist, and not a liberator).
However, this is not all. Listen to this, all ye innocents, who imagine that Christianity has a finger in the pie of the World Council of Churches.
TERRORISM EQUATES LOVE
The climax was surely reached when, at the fifth Assembly of the World Council of Churches, held at Nairobi during November/December, 1975, it was officially brought to the notice of the delegates that "Liberation fighters in Southern Africa are motivated by love, not hate."
This is the official view held by the Methodist Church of Great Britain, according to Allan Shaw, a member of the British delegation to the Assembly. In the Assembly's daily newspaper, "TARGET', he takes to task the Anglican Bishop of Truro, the Rt. Rev. Graham Leonard, for stating that "The church cannot support violence as a way of coping with a situation."
In his letter to "Target", Allan Shaw claims that the Church of England has in the past given its blessing to violence when it has seen this as a necessary means to justice.
Pointing out that the Methodist Church in Britain has supported the programme of violence from the outset, he said that the Methodists had decided that a situation had developed in which change through discussion had been denied, and armed struggle had become a necessary part of the total strategy to achieve justice. His letter ends with the words:
'The Methodist Church recognises that those who are fighting for liberation do so in love and not in hate:'"
The general secretary of the Methodist Church in Great Britain, the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Greet, fully supported Allan Shaw's views.
TRUTH VERSUS FICTION
Truth is stranger than fiction.
I have dealt with the fiction that terrorism equals love. Let us now examine how this amazing thought stands up to the real facts.
On the cover of this leaflet is reproduced a picture of Mr. Chikombe Mazvidza, who lives in a kraal (village) north of Mount Darwin in the northeastern district of Rhodesia.
Chikombe Mazvidza is a Christian; a better Christian than either Allan Shaw or Dr. Kenneth Greet could ever hope to be.
What is the story behind that tragic figure, lying on his hospital bed?
Let me tell you the story as it appeared in all the national newspapers throughout Southern Africa.
It was late on the night of 5th December (only a few days after Allan Shaw's statement equating terror with love), when a gang of these "liberators" entered a kraal in the Mount Darwin area. All were armed not only with knives, but also with the latest Russian automatic weapons. When Chikombe, the nephew of the kraal head, refused to give them food, they tied his hands behind his back and beat him mercilessly, fracturing his wrists.
Not content with this, they next cut off his two ears, his lips and all the flesh of his nose to his chin.
Then, as a final token of that love which is only given to great liberators, they forced his wife to roast the flesh on an open fire and eat it.
Fortunately, at some time during these gruesome proceedings, Chikombe had fainted through shock and loss of blood. His wife, Sterla, however was not so fortunate. Interviewed in a mission hospital in the district. where she was recovering from shock, she said that:
'They came to the door and said to me, 'get out of the house'. Then they beat me up and said, 'let us go to your husband'. They made me hand over my youngest child to someone else before they beat me. After they beat my husband in front of me, and my other children, they grabbed his ear, cut it off, then his nose, then mouth and then his other ear."
"They pointed a gun at my head and said to fry the flesh and then to eat it."
"So I ate and vomited and ate and vomited and they said to keep on eating until it was all finished:'
All her husband could say from his sickbed was,
"THE PEOPLE WHO DID THIS ARE NOT HUMAN BEINGS."
Nor were Chikombe and his wife Sterfa the only casualties in this dastardly raid. Also in hospital treated for shock and third degree burns, was his mother. She got her burns when two of the "liberators" threw her to the ground. They then forced her legs apart, whilst a third thrust a log into the embers of the fire. When this was red-hot, he burned the inside of her thighs and her private parts. .
Then, finally there was the kraal head himself, as well as his brother they were both in hospital being treated for fractures and multiple bruises after a cruel beating by the thugs.
May I now repeat Allan Shaw's wonderful words of comfort?
"The Methodist Church recognises that those who are fighting for liberation do so in love and not in hate:'
Love indeed. A love that, at gunpoint forces a wife to eat her husband's flesh. Satantic love ... sadistic love ... BLOODY LOVE.
Once again I fall back on the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction. One would imagine that after such a complete disregard of all human decency, there would have been world-wide outcries against the perpetrators of these grim acts of unspeakable terror; outcries emanating both from the political and the religious sectors of the communities.
THIS DEAR FRIENDS HAS PROVED TO BE FICTION
The truth is this. From the Christian Council of Rhodesia: dead silence.
From the South African Council of Churches, under the leadership of John Rees: not a peep. From all the denominations affiliated to the World Council of Churches, and their various splinter groups, from the Anglicans, the Methodists and the Presbyterians (with one notable exception): the quiet of the grave.
The one exception was the Bulawayo Wesley Circuit of the Methodist Church, which disassociated itself from the comments made by Allan Shaw. On 10th December it passed a resolution, expressing its condemnation of the statement and recorded its disassociation with Mr. Shaw's opinion which, it stated, "is un-Christian and does a great deal of disservice to Christianity and to Methodism in particular." The circuit added that it was astonished and distressed.
A lone voice crying in the wilderness. Thank God, however for that lone voice, for it proves that even amongst the members of that vile body, the W.C.C., there are still some sincere Christians concerned with the Word of God, and not with the works of Satan.
So much for the religious scene.
Now let us examine the political aspect.
Look at the Waldheims and the Potters of this world. Was the matter raised at the United Nations? Did Dr. Potter bring up the subject at the W.C.C. assembly at Nairobi? On the contrary. Expanded efforts to help terrorists, particularly in Southern Africa, were recommended in the first draft of a report for the assembly.
Look also at the Harold Wilsons and the Queen Julianas. Was the matter by any chance debated in the House of Commons? Or did Her Majesty, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands decide to withdraw further financial support, out of her private fortune, to the terrorists in Rhodesia?
Look again, and see the Kaundas, the Mobutus, the Kenyattas and the Amins of this world. Any tears shed by them were strictly of the crocodile variety.
And finally, consider the Muzorewas, the Sitholes and the Bananas, reverend gentlemen all, one even a Bishop, chuckling at the thought of having re-introduced cannibalism into this land of theirs.
EVEN SO, COME
Surely, never in the history of the human race has morality, decency and honour been at a lower ebb, than it is today.
Never, in the annals of mankind has there been more political tightrope walking, nor religious sitting-on-the-fence. How is it all going to end? When is it all going to end? Where is it all going to end?
All we Christians can do is pray, and say with the Apostle John, at the end of his Revelation:
The subject matter dealt with in this pamphlet is considered to be of such vital importance, that it is felt the more people know about it, the better the world would be served.
- VW Van Rijnberk