On June 9, armed groups of Zimbabwe’s police, military, and central intelligence raided the Ecumenical Centre in the city of Harare, which houses several Christian organizations. The raid was part of the Mugabe regime’s violent battle against religious and civic organizations and supporters of the political opposition. Several staff and executive members of the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe were arrested. Additionally, police confiscated papers, computers, and digital cameras from the other organizations including Ecumenical Support Services, Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, and the Zimbabwe National Pastors Conference.
Under Robert Mugabe’s 28-year rule, Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate is approaching 80 percent and inflation is at more than 100,000 percent. “The government has abdicated its duties by declaring war on its own people and creating an atmosphere of general insecurity among the populace,” reads a statement on the incident released by the Student Christian Movement. “The time has come for us not only to speak but also to act against injustice, oppression, and corruption, according to the standard of the word of God.” (At press time, talks between Mugabe and opposition leaders had begun.)