Paignton (Palace Avenue) Methodist Church

supports the work of

  Zimbabwe Victims' Support Fund

Pray And Work for Justice, Truth & Peace


Zimbabwe Victims’ Support Fund is a relief organisation, founded in 2002, for the support of some of the most vulnerable and desperate among the countless victims of the continuing crisis in Zimbabwe.

Now a British registered charity, the Fund was set up as a partnership between, on the one hand, those directly involved in the relief of hunger and extreme hardship in the Matabeleland region and, on the other, Christian friends in the United Kingdom who shared that concern and wanted to support that effort.

Supporters and donors are now drawn from a wide range of churches, groups and individuals of many denominations across the UK and beyond.

Dear friends and prayer partners,

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”  (Psalm 34/18)

 When I wrote barely a week ago requesting your prayers I said that, while scarcely believing  free and fair elections were possible, the people of Zimbabwe were still hoping against hope for a good outcome. Now as we all know those hopes were crushed. Quite simply the ruling party – we really must now call them the mis-ruling party - stole the elections. With the willing collusion of the official, supposedly non-partisan, electoral commission, they massaged the voting figures to produce a victory for their candidate, Emmerson Mnangagwa – a result that beggars belief.  It was daylight robbery on a grand scale and has left the people stunned. When crowds took to the streets in Harare to register their protest in a non-violent way the army responded with live ammunition, killing six.  At least one was shot in the back.

Cathy Buckle who has chronicled the suffering and the set-backs over many years writes: “There was a stunned, eerie silence over the centre of town (Marondera). There was no sign of jubilation or celebration by the electoral winners. Gone were the big smiles, cheery waves and excitement that had electrified the town until three days ago …”

A Christian friend in Bulawayo comments:  “We are devastated but not surprised. The game is not over yet and we wait to see what God will do.”

And a text message from Pastor Albert: “We are grieved but not hopeless in our minds. In prayer we fight on through …”

So stunned disbelief, anger, grief - and for some despair:  “I have decided that never again will I allow myself to hope … I think now that meaningful change is not likely to happen in our lifetime.”

How shall we pray for these people at such a time as this ?

Must we resign ourselves to another five wasted and wasting years of corruption, violence, fear, poverty and hunger ?   No, this is unthinkable. Moreover it is an offense against the God of justice and mercy. To Him every day his children suffer is deeply painful.

Therefore friends, let us pray that the electoral fraud will soon be exposed for all the world to see.  We may not expect justice from one of Zimbabwe’s  compromised Courts of Law but pray God the evidence of vote rigging produced will be so strong as to compel the international community to acknowledge the truth and to convince all Zimbabweans.

Pray that Western governments, especially our own, will not confer legitimacy on the illegitimate government in Harare but rather cooperate with those seeking change.

Pray also that the spirit of defiance against injustice evident in some of the views expressed above, will be harnessed positively to bring the change God looks for in the nation.

And finally will you intercede with me both for the leadership of the opposition MDC and for Christian leaders across the country, that they may be blessed with those special gifts and that anointing of the Spirit to lead the people courageously in time of adversity and when the flickering candle of hope burns so low.

Thank you and bless you, 

Graham Shaw