Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
From the editor
Dialogue Dear Readers,
Christmas is a time of giving, so goes the saying and this is true. The initiative to give is God’s. The Most Holy Trinity sent the Second Person to come and save us: Jesus Christ. He came to us in gentle self-giving in our own human nature, as a vulnerable baby boy, not like an already mature man as at the creation of Adam with possible commands and demands to make.
This is the God who chose and still chooses to enter into dialogue with us with all gentleness, patience, respect and care. In his own time on earth various people reacted differently to his birth. Just call to mind the reaction of King Herod and that of the Magi. That comparison provides an immediate Fr Emmanuel Gurumombe SJ and completely different set of responses. We too in our time react differently to his coming. But if we allow conciliatory dialogue to occur between the new-born Jesus and ourselves, and then among ourselves, much good will ensue. Hence, it is with much joy that the editorial team at the Jesuit Communications Office for the Zimbabwe Mozambique Province publishes this edition of Mukai/Vukani around this 2019 Christmas time. We wish you a peaceful and happy time with your families and friends. We hope that you will receive God’s gift of reconciliation with those you might be at odds with, in order not to offset the precious gift of peace and joy around Christmas time.
We remain very much grateful to the different writers who generously offered to pen these articles for our common benefit. Some offered to write even at a short notice of request, while others were hard pressed for time. Many thanks indeed to our writers! The theme of this edition revolves around DIALOGUE. We have much need for that in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and any other parts of Africa where deep-seated misunderstandings of any nature obtain. The capacity for dialogue brings enormous good for the common good and human welfare. If God entered into salvific dialogue with us through his Only Begotten Son, then it remains for us to order our lives around mature, honest and fruitful dialogue as well. We wish you a happy reading of the articles contained in this edition of Mukai/Vukani. We also hope that the contents of each article will enhance your appreciation of dialogue as a way of handling our common life as human beings, as citizens of our respective countries and the world at large.
So, from the entire team at the Jesuit Communications Office of the Zimbabwe – Mozambique Province, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. Mukai -Mukai Vukani- Vukani No.74 No.75 | December 2019 | | | December 2019
Christmas - God’s Dialogue with Humanity
God of Dialogue and Reconciliation
Young People’s View
The Recent Election in Mozambique
Christmas - A Time for the Family
Dialogue -A Refinement of Human Ideas
Layout and Design Frashishiko Chikosi
Tomorrow is too Late...
Dialogue, Mediation, Negotiation
Distribution Frashishiko Chikosi
Prerequisites for Genuine Prayer
The ‘Fall’ - A Story of Hope not Doom
Book Review: Man in the Middle
Cover Picture: Fr Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator SJ President of the Conference of Major Superiors of Africa and Madagascar (JESAM) during Mass at the Holy Name Chapel at Arrupe Jesuit University (AJU)
Jesuit Magazine for Zimbabwe-Mocambique Province
No.75 December 2019 Publisher Jesuit Communications (JesCom) Editorial Team: Fr Emmanuel Gurumombe SJ Kudakwashe Matambo
Readers may contribute/donate to the production costs by ecocash or bank transfers NMB Bank Acc No: 00260139932 Borrowdale Branch The views of the authors of the articles do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board.
Canisius House, 37 Admiral Tait Rd, Marlborough, Harare (+263) 242 309623 (+263) 778 642 548 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.jesuitszimbabwe.co.zw Social Networks
Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 | Mukai - Vukani No.75 | December 2019 |
Christmas - God’s Dialogue with Humanity
Fr Nelson Nyamayaro SJ
own eyes, which we have watched and touched with our own hands, the Word of life…. That life was made visible; we saw it and are giving our testimony” (1 John 1:1-2).
The existence of life in the universe is not by chance. It is a specific act and gift of God. Cosmological arguments for the existence of God seek to provide an answer to the question: “Why is there anything rather than not?” The ‘why’ part of the question remains forever important because, for Christians, it points to or directs the mind to ultimate cause of the existence of anything at all rather than not. The cause of existence is, as Thomas Aquinas puts it, what we call God. It is God’s sole initiative to give life, to cause life, while God can neither be caused nor annihilated by anything. However, there is a highly significant difference with regard to God’s initiative in the divine act of causing and giving existence and life. In the past, let us say in
Abrahamic times and the period of the prophets, God did not make himself known physically. Yes the Israelites witnessed many miracles done through God’s power, but they never set eyes on him. Now, as the writer of the letter to the Hebrews powerfully asserts, “At many moments in the past and by many means, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our time, the final days, he has spoken to us in the person of his Son” (Heb. 1:1). This is a marked departure from the immemorial invisibility of God. It is an unparalled initiative from on high. “The Word became flesh, and lived among us” (John 1:14). Doing what? Dialoguing with us! This is what John the evangelist in his letter describes as “Something which has existed since the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
Christmas is indeed a happy time, because by this act God takes his people out of darkness: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; on the inhabitants of a country in shadow dark as death light has blazed forth” (Isa. 9:2). Through the self-giving of God in person at Christmas and the comprehensive plan of salvation leading to the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Lord has entered into dialogue with human beings. This dialogue enlightens the mind, heart and soul of the human person. It emancipates human beings from both ignorance and slavery to sin as well as evil. Noticeably, anyone who refuses to enter into this God - initiated dialogue remains in the dark because “…indeed, everyone who does wrong hates the light and avoids it, to prevent his actions from being shown up; but whoever does the truth comes into the light so that what he is doing may plainly appear as done in God” (John 3:20-21). 4
What is dialogue then? There are numerous concepts of dialogue. But for the purpose of this article let us appeal to Willam Isaacs’ understanding of dialogue. He says “Dialogue... is a conversation with a centre, not sides. It is a way of taking the energy of our differences and channeling it toward something that has never been created before. It lifts us out of polarisation and into a greater common sense, and is thereby a means for accessing the intelligence and coordinated power of groups of people.” The roots of the word dialogue come from the Greek words dia and logos . Dia mean ‘through’; logos translates to ‘word’ or ‘meaning’. In essence, a dialogue is a flow of meaning . But it is more than this too. In the most ancient meaning of the word, logos meant ‘to gather together’, and suggested an intimate awareness of the relationships among things in the natural world. In that sense, logos may be best rendered in English as ‘relationship’. The Book of John in the New Testament begins: “In the beginning was the Word ( logos )”. We could now hear this as “In the beginning was the Relationship.” To take it one step further, dialogue is a conversation in which people think together in relationship. Thinking together implies that you no longer take your own position as final. You relax your grip on certainty and listen to possibilities that result simply from being in relationship with others as possibilities that might not otherwise have occurred. To listen respectfully to others, to cultivate and speak your own voice, to suspend your opinions about others—these bring out the intelligence that lives at the very centre of ourselves—the intelligence that exists when we are alert of possibilities around us and thinking
freshly. Inasmuch as this concept relates mostly with the human possibilities for dialogue, it also has something to do with God’s dialogue with us and viceversa. If we carefully examine the dialogue between the Angel Gabriel and the Blessed Virgin Mary, we notice the function of freedom and will at play. The angel representing God does not use force. The angelic salutation is peaceful and respectful. Mary the young maiden is rightfully deeply disturbed by the apparition of the angel and the nature of the greeting. But she does not fail to ask a further pertinent question during the dialogue: “But how can this come about, since I have no knowledge of man?” (Luke 1:34). Mary is free. So she poses a serious rational and appropriate question. God does not suppress her mental faculty or interfere with her will. She listens with a willing heart. In the end she manifests her willingness to cooperate with God in the most important FIAT: “You see before you the Lord’s servant, let it happen to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38). She relaxes her grip on the plan to be traditionally married to Joseph to whom she was betrothed. Did she care about Joseph? Yes, but perhaps not as much as she loved the will of God as would be expected of a good natured and nurtured Jewish girl. This is true to Thomas Aquinas’ point that ‘grace builds on nature’. In Mary grace entered into dialogue with nature and a new possibility resulted from simply being in a relationship with others, God being the other here. However, Mary was told that the birth of the child would benefit all people. So that too causes her to enter into a relationship of great possibilities with others who Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
through her FIAT would become children of God because of her Son, Jesus Christ. In order to enter into real dialogue with us Jesus chose to be born in poverty, which is both the spiritual and material reality of humanity without God. The God of Christ is so intimately bound up with human origins and destiny that in the struggle towards a fuller humanity he must be both involved and discernible. The crucial revelation of him occurs in failure, suffering and crucifixion. Bonhoeffer says “a God who does not suffer cannot free us” (L. BOFF, Passion of Christ, Pasion of the World, 111). God’s part in the struggle of humanity is not like an athlete who runs in order to win a wreath, to invoke St Paul’s image. His primary presence and involvement is in the struggle itself, taking on humanity’s burden and pain, suffering with humanity through and beyond all the natural and historical failures. God chose to make himself a man in poverty among the poor. Jesus was born as he died, owning nothing, humble and rejected (P. ARRUPE. Justice with Faith Today, Anand Press, Anand 1980, 276). Asked if Jesus was born to ratify the situation of the poor in the world, Pedro Arrupe says “Of course, Jesus was not born poor to ratify the condition of the poor in the world today ... he made himself poor to proclaim from his poverty the brotherhood of all” (Justice with Faith Today, 278). This is a brotherhood or a fellowship, which demands dialogue between God and human beings and among people themselves. To refuse dialogue is to support and elect the triumph of evil, which is to subsequently snub the message and meaning of Christmas as such. 5
God of Dialogue and Reconciliation Fr Joseph Mugara In this article I want to suggest some lessons that we can draw from the Old Testament in our quest for dialogue and reconciliation in Zimbabwe. The crisis in Zimbabwe is deeply rooted in a long history of conflicts and violence. In the Old Covenant, Scripture portrays the divine economy as dialogue between the Creator and humanity that culminates in reconciliation through Christ. The plan of God revealed in the Old Covenant is salvific obtained through dialogue.
God’s reason for dialogue with humanity is salvation The people of Israel encountered their God in the midst of the great events of the exodus. For them the God who intervened in their history to bring about their liberation from Egyptian slavery is the same God who had entered into dialogue with their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the same God who created all things. Creation manifests the dialogue through which God enters into initial communion with his people: “The heavens proclaim the glory of God, the firmament shows forth the work of his hands…” Psalm 19:1. Above all, God made the human person in his image and likeness. In this he communicates himself since the invisible God, from the fullness of his love addresses humanity as friends, inviting and receive them into his own company. After the fall, God engaged humanity in dialogue to reestablish the broken relationship
between him and creation. God, the one against whom humanity sinned, is the one who came to look for the lost Covenant partner and offer him reconciliation. This has been understood as God’s offer of salvation. Salvation is a restored relationship with God. Salvation is the final end, the ultimate accomplishment of God’s purpose for all creation.
According to Klaus Berger, the Hebrew expressions corresponding to the English word “salvation” show that the Old Testament concept of salvation had its roots in concrete experiences and situations perhaps similar to our own today. Salvation is deliverance from mortal danger, healing from sickness, liberation from captivity, ransom from slavery, help in a law-suit, victory in battle and peace after political negotiations (Ps 7:11; 18:28; 22:22; 34:7, 19; 55:17; 69:2; 86:2; 107:13,19,28). Gerald Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
O’Collins provides a list of Hebrew words for salvation, the main ones of which include nasal (deliver) palaṭ (bring to safety) padah (redeem) and malat (deliver). Two major salvific terms are gaal, which means “redeem,” “buy back,” “restore,” “vindicate” or “deliver” and yaša, which means “save,” “help in time of distress,” “rescue,” “deliver” or “set free” (G. O’COLLINS, “Salvation”, 908). The nouns suggest a change from one status to another; from hostility to friendship. How did God accomplish the salvific project to which the above words mainly apply? Through dialogue. The Divine dialogue initiatives that lead to Reconciliation
Israel developed the sacrificial system and rituals to deal with both vertical and horizontal relationships, which became embedded in their social, religious and political
consciousness as a nation. There were rituals to make peace; there were practices to settle quarrels and to deal with errant behaviour. There were deeds and words, sacrifices and rituals that could reconcile both vertically and horizontally. For the vertical reconciliation with Yahweh which influenced social reconciliation, the sacrificial system of the Old Testament helped people to admit their sense of guilt, atone for their sins and obtain peace with God. They had categories of offerings such as “peace offerings” (Num 29:39; 1 Chron 21:26), “sin offerings” (Lev 4:24, 33; 5:12; 6:18; Num 7:87); and “communion offerings” (Exod 20:24; 24:5; 32:6; Lev 4:10,) which dealt with the removal of sins. Atonement for sin which Israel tried to achieve with these rituals assumes that human faults broke the relationship with God and this relationship can only be restored through removal of sin by the power of rituals (2 Sam 14:7). Here admission is essential. Humility before historical faults is key to reconciliation, including Zimbabwe. The means of doing this included payment of compensation for wrongs, sacrifices, rituals, intercessory prayers (Gen 18:2332), offerings, acceptance of suffering, and repentance. Sorrow for wrongdoing and sin was also demonstrated through wearing of sackcloth and fasting (Jonah 3:7-10). In all this we can observe that there were indeed external manifestations of a genuine desire for a brighter future. Another lesson is how God took the initiative in searching for the lost Covenant partner for “with the Lord is found forgiveness and plentiful redemption” (Psalm 130:3-7). He
does not desire the death of the sinner but that the sinner turns away from sin and live (Ezek 33:11). Yahweh pardons all sins for he is compassionate. Thus, the whole story of the Israelites in the history of the economy of reconciliation is one of constant infidelities to the Covenant which Yahweh had made with them, but it is also a story of fidelity and forgiveness on the part of Yahweh.
Social reconciliation was part and parcel of the Covenant relationship and dialogue not just between Yahweh and the individual, but collectively, governing the inter-personal relationships as divine justice demanded. Yahweh demanded social cohesion. After the murder of Abel by Cain, he demanded responsibility; “Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground” (Gen 4:10). The Old Testament was concerned about peace in the family, in the tribes and nation as a whole.
The Old Testament economy of dialogue and reconciliation teaches us that we must accept and adhere to our constitution and respect the rule of law. The Decalogue, together with numerous prescriptions of the Mosaic Law prescribed good relationship with one’s neighbour and with foreigners and slaves (Exod 20:1317; Deut 5:6-21). According to Exodus 18:13-26, Moses instituted a system of the administration of social justice in Israel to restore peace amongst people who quarrelled with each other. He taught them the statutes and laws to follow, directed them on how to behave, and chose capable and God-fearing men, trustworthy and Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
incorruptible to lead thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens (Exod 18:13-26).
For the prophets, the word of Yahweh stands out more and more as the expression of the divine invitation to inter-personal relationship. Amos called for the just treatment of the poor whom the rich sold for a pair of sandals. Isaiah on his part denounced Israel for a system of worship that was in discord with justice, thus calling on Israel to break unjust fetters, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break all yokes; to share food with the hungry, and shelter the homeless poor; to clothe the naked him, and not to turn away from their own kin (Isa 58:6-7).
For Zimbabwe to return to prosperity it is required that true justice and repentance take root; to turn completely from the darkness of hostility to the light or dialogue and reconciliation: “Learn to do good, search for justice, discipline the violent, be just to the orphan, plead for the widow” (Isa 1:17). Zimbabwe needs sincere dialogue partners to achieve reconciliation and we must be willing to take the required steps for a brighter future. Political expediency must not override the irreplaceable worth of human life, which so much depends on sound politics. The birth of Jesus Christ is clear testimony that human life is fundamentally important. That is why he became one of us, in order to be one with us in Zimbabwe and throughout the world. Therefore we need to dialogue with him and with one another for our commonwealth.
Young People’s View on the Possibility for Dialogue, the Lack of it and the Stand-Off in Zimbabwe Adio-Adet Dinika
The Zimbabwean economy is in shambles, inflation has gone through the roof. Tension is almost palpable and cases of abductions, and beatings at the hands of state actors both alleged and actual are prevalent. The health system has all but collapsed with Doctors and government in a stand-off that has gone past ninety days. Fuel queues are longer than ever and recently the United Nations said about seven million people; almost half the country’s population are facing starvation. What everyone can agree on is that things in the country are bad, very bad. To quote Retired Major General S.B. Moyo “The situation in our country has reached another level.”
Many are presenting dialogue as a panacea for Zimbabwe’s woes, but maybe before we embrace it lets first define it. At the risk of being too academic I will take a definition offered by Paffenholz et al. (2016) which defines (national) dialogue as broad-based, inclusive and participatory negotiation platforms involving large segments of civil society, politicians, youth, women, academia and peace building experts. They are ordinarily convened to negotiate major political reforms or peace in complex and fragmented conflict environments. As young people we yearn for a country that functions, a country were dreaming to be president is
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not a crime. A platform where our voice can be heard is long overdue, where we have the freedom to speak our minds without fear of being abducted or labelled “a western puppet”. The current situation has not only spoiled our present but also robbed us of our future, our parents speak of the “good old days” but we have no such memories unless of course being shown baby pictures wearing Edgars clothing counts. We need an end to this impasse and just as dialogue led to the end of Apartheid, Lancaster House conference and the 2009 Government of National Unity perhaps it holds answers for us. Agenda for dialogue? To date both state actors and non-
state actors such the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC), The Government (President Mnangagwa) through the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD), Zimbabwe Council of Churches, which the Catholic Church is party to and the Citizen’s Manifesto have all carried out efforts towards national dialogue. The MDC led by Adv. Nelson Chamisa rejected the call to join the POLAD arguing that the venue (State House) and the convenor (President Mnangagwa) were inappropriate. To their credit, several months down the line POLAD meetings have achieved absolutely nothing.
What’s apparent from all the dialogue efforts is that almost all of the participants have different agendas, different starting points and different approaches to the dialoguing process for instance, President Mnangagwa called for a post-election dialogue while Adv. Chamisa argues that President Mnangagwa’s legitimacy should be the first port of call. The two have stuck to their guns which has seen MDC legislators walking out on President Mnangagwa while in turn ZANU PF legislators have refused to be chaired by MDC legislators in Parliamentary Portfolio Committees arguing that they ought to recognise President Mnangagwa first, which has all but crippled the work of Parliament.
So, what really is the agenda for the dialogue? Is it to settle the question of President Mnangagwa’s legitimacy? Is it to bring everyone to the big (POLAD) tent and denounce sanctions? Is it to come up with economic reforms so as to solve the economic crisis, get Doctors back to work, capacitate our Hospitals, get all civil servants back to work with salaries that can sustain them? Is it to come up with political reforms so as to ensure the rule of law, an end to abductions and prepare for a credible and dispute free 2023 election? Or maybe drawing inspiration from one of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ pastoral letters is to come up with “The Zimbabwe we all want?” There is need for an Agenda that speaks to the real issues and sets aside partisan interests from either the MDC or ZANU PF. The level of mistrust and animosity between the two main parties, ZANU PF and MDC do not inspire much confidence as far as national dialogue is concerned, there is the proverbial chasm between them and a history of betrayal of trust and penchant for using thugs dressed in police uniform to pummel opponents
as alleged by Jim Kunaka in his testimony before the Motlanthe Commission, which was instituted to look into the 1 August 2018 disturbances, after the harmonised presidential and parliamentary elections of the same year. The halting of the NPRC’s efforts to give way for the POLAD already indicates how one party can easily lean on state resources/arms to further its own agenda. The MDC has said that it is ready to dialogue if there is an independent mediator but the question is given how the two view Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), the European Union and the United States of America with different levels of mistrust, will they agree on a mediator? I doubt it. Zimbabwe can however not be summarised by the two parties, there is perhaps need for a broad-based national dialogue as argued by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches and the Citizens Manifesto. My measured view however is that these efforts while noble are dead in the water as long as there is no political will to support them as well as to take on board their conclusions/positions. ZANU PF has repeatedly said it will not reform itself out of power, meaning any dialogue that will threaten its hold on power will be thwarted. National broad-based dialogues can be a starting point. However, perhaps if the people find common ground, then they can remove the stranglehold of the two main political parties on national issues and institutions.
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The Recent Election in Mozambique - The need for Dialogueue Fr Alberto Maquia SJ The history of Mozambique since the arrival of the Portuguese has been characterized by continuous struggles and wars. Mozambique attained independence from Portugal on 25 June 1975, with Samora Moisês Machel as the first President. Like many other African countries Mozambique’s independence was followed by high levels of poverty, deterioration of infrastructure and high levels of illiteracy. As Cameron Hume writes, “Mozambique did not know real peace from 1961 to 1992. For most of that sad period, Mozambicans suffered horribly, as if they were plagued to live under an evil star” (Hume, 1994 p. ix). Mozambique after Independence After independence, the Mozambique Liberation Front “Frente de Libertação de Moçambique” (FRELIMO), adopted a one-party state system. This fostered FRELIMO’s polices and denounced all those who were against the newly created political system, as well as those who were involved in political and economic sabotage in the country. The Marxist system adopted in 1977 led FRELIMO to implement many changes such as great investment in education and health. The agricultural sector was centralized and other institutions and properties were nationalised. According to Bouene (2004, p. 6) “for FRELIMO, everything that resembled the old regime had to be eradicated, and because it was considered a residue of colonialism, the Church (not just the Catholic Church)” suffered from government hostilities, manifested not only in the nationalization of all structures managed by the Church, but
also in a number of limitations on clergy activities (Rocca, 2012). Anti-religious and antiecclesial sentiments increased phenomenally. During this period the government refused to establish diplomatic relations with the Holy See (MorierGenoud, 1996). Gradually, due to the collapse of the Mozambican economy the country abandoned Marxist economics, giving way to the liberalization of the economy. While the Mozambican government was liberalizing the economy, as noted by Berman (1994, p. 14) “the seeds of what came to be known as the Mozambican National Resistance (MNR) or RENAMO were sown with the assistance of Portuguese business interests, which recruited Mozambicans inside the country or from Portugal to join RENAMO.” This rebel movement (RENAMO) was supported financially and militarily at first by Rhodesia
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(Zimbabwe) and then by Apartheid regime from South Africa. According to Gonçalo Sousa (in the book titled Mundo de Viagens, 2016) the sixteenyear conflict between the government and RENAMO became exceptionally brutal. Health and education systems collapsed, and in many other regions, agricultural production disappeared. The great drought of the mid-80s caused a terrible famine. By the 1990s, around one million people died, about one and half million abandoned agriculture, and four million left the country. After twelve difficult rounds of negotiations, the war ended with the signing of the General Peace Agreement (GPA) between FRELIMO and RENAMO on 4 October 1992 in Rome, which led to the demobilization of troops from both camps, as well as the Constitutional Amendment that
created room for the existence of other political forces 16 years later (Armon et all, 1998). Della Rocca (2012) notes that the process that led to the GPA consisted of multiple initiatives by various potential intermediaries, including state, religious and lay actors, in which the Catholic Community of Sant’ Egídio, eventually gained confidence from both parties to mediate a long and heavy negotiation process with a lot of drama between the participants. “The GPA provided a suitable framework that at the end of the war in 1992, the country held five multiparty electoral processes in 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014, all won by Frelimo candidates. Admittedly, RENAMO rejected all the results even though occupying almost all opposition seats” (Darch, 2018, p. 9). Darch (2018) considers that while the GPA was successful in ending the war for an extended period, it failed to prepare a solid basis for processes that could build
positive peace in its absolute sense. Darch 2018, p. 10). Several studies published by (Cahen, 2000; Gloor, 2005; Nuvunga, 2008 and Toyoda, 2012 establish a close relationship between electoral violence and FRELIMO’s excessive repressive state machinery as one of the factors of violence allied to a feeling that state resources were being unevenly distributed, making, for example, access to natural resources a real pitfall for maintaining stability (Collier 2010). Moreover, lack of institutions, the instability of the electoral legislation and the growing distrust of the electoral management bodies constitute some of the factors leading to electoral violence (De Brito, 2011a). The silence of FRELIMO leadership in the face of violence can be seen as an approval of these same practices. In fact, the partiality with which the electoral management bodies act (National Election Commission –CNE; Technical Secretary of Electoral Administration –STAE; Constitutional Council -CC), leads us to consider that there is a deliberate weakening of the institutions, where informal rules prevail over those legally established, thus generating distrust regarding these organs. Thus, the modus operandi of the electoral management bodies shows that they are co-authors of political misconduct and undemocratic political processes in the country. During the campaign period for the recent 2019 elections to elect the president of the republic, province governors, members of parliament and members of the provincial assemblies, FRELIMO, Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
always demanded from its members “victory at all cost”. These last elections are the only ones in which the ruling party (FRELIMO) exercised power in an organized but decentralized manner. The opposition parties pointed out various illicit acts, which however, were ignored by CNE and STAE. This confirms that all electoral operations in Mozambique are fully politicized, in spite of the presence of other political party representatives to oversee the work of CNE and STAE. This is why Hanlon (DW. 21/10/2019) commented that “these were by far the worst” multiparty elections ever seen in the country. Hanlon (2018, p. 5) says, “an election is free if parties and candidates are free to carry out their campaigns and voters freely choose the candidates of their choice. An election is fair if there are no serious acts of fraud or incompetence.” However, faced with the scenario of the lack of freedom in the exercise of civic rights, lack of transparency in the way the whole electoral process was conducted, people even affirmed that their vote did not count for major decisions such as choosing who should govern them (Hounnou, CM, 31/10/2019). The same author, stresses that in Mozambique there is a complete rejection of the people’s will, because FRELIMO, the police, and the electoral bodies decide which party should rule the country.
The people’s vote is a way to show the West that there is a semblance of democracy in Mozambique. In a true democracy elections are conducted by independent bodies, while political parties or civil society organizations play their appropriate part too. But in the case of Mozambique, the ruling party controls the state apparatus since, state officials, state buildings, state assets, fuel and lubricants, business and others are owned or controlled by the FRELIMO party or FRELIMO political members (Edwin Hounnou, CM, 31/10/2019). Concluding Remarks All national liberation movements in Southern Africa, including FRELIMO, came to power between the 1970s 1990s, through popular support derived from the successful expulsion of colonialism. Until 1974, one year before independence in Mozambique, FRELIMO was a credible representative of the Mozambican population, guided by moral values acclaimed by all. Since then FRELIMO has been conceived to be an eternal party because it liberated the country from colonialism. Hence, no other parallel force is allowed to hinder the functioning of its ideologies. In this regard, the idea of transparency, free and fair elections is absolutely ruled out. Democracy is the government of the people, where the supreme power belongs to the people and is exercised directly by the people or their representatives, through a free electoral system, but in
Mozambique and in almost all of Africa this concept of democracy is far from being achieved. Ethics is essential in creating a balance for democracy in order to restore human dignity so that persons are not used as objects for political manipulation. Regrettably, the General Peace Agreement of 1992 cannot be understood as a radical democratization and abandonment of FRELIMO’s dominant discourse, but as a reconfiguration that opened space for institutional compromises such as free elections and a multiplicity of political parties, yet without changing anything in the current map of power. Broader reconciliation in the social and almost ‘theological’ sense of leaving past grudges in order to embrace national forgiveness has proved to be difficult to achieve. This requires a commitment to break with the past, heal the wounds of the past, forgive but not forget, and build a future based on respect for human rights. The reality of human rights places a great responsibility on all people, Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
because human rights are not a gift given as a favour by some people towards others. Rather, human rights are inalienable from and inherent to human dignity. What happened in the 2019 presidential, legislative and provincial elections does not give any opportunity for reconciliation, dialogue and mutual acceptance of both elections results and the existence of the opposition to take part in the political affairs of the country. The recent elections in Mozambique betray the General Peace Agreement of October 1992. They also do not reflect the subsequent peace and reconciliation agreements signed between the two belligerent parties in Mozambique. Social cohesion is being destroyed because FRELIMO uses its powers to divide Mozambicans, creating conflict in order to remain in power yet perpetuating the suffering of the people. The parties to the conflict must do more to correct on both sides the errors and shortcomings
Christmas - A Time for the Family Kate Mupanguri
Christmas is possibly the most celebrated holiday for both the Christians and those that are not. As soon as people are through celebrating the New Year, Christmas becomes the focus. Travel plans for this particular holiday are put in place way in advance along with the plans for that holiday that are to coincide. Why is that so? Christmas is simply a family holiday; a quality time. People travel across the world, the urban travel to the rural and the reverse is true, only on a lesser extent. Families find it necessary and important to be together on this particular holiday. While Christmas is strongly a Christian holiday, the majority of the world’s population find it necessary to mention it, and plan around it. On a Christian note, Christmas signifies a new beginning; the old is gone and the new has arrived. Christ has been born and a new dawn has come. The saviour has come and with him a new hope; a promise. The one the world has been waiting for has been born, marking a new
era. It is a joyful time that calls for celebration. Celebrations are not an individual’s activity; they call for togetherness. Families are formed and maintained for the success of togetherness. This has been recognised beyond the Christian circles. Celebrating the birth of Christ has become everybody’s concern. Families meet and are together for Christmas. A family may be known as a unit of parents and their children or people of a common ancestor. But that cannot be all; a family can also be a group of people with a common interest, a community. But still, that cannot be all that constitutes family. There has to be communication or dialogue; probably explaining the need to be together every now and again, especially around Christmas time. When people meet, exchanging stories, experiences and deliberations make the experience of the togetherness memorable. More is learnt through talking and more is ironed out through the Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
same activity. People understand each other and other dynamics through the same activity of talking, dialogue. Dialogue takes more than one person; it involves asking questions and answering of the very questions, agreeing and disagreeing and eventually meeting common ground. Dialogue, in essence, ‘includes every form of meeting and communication between individuals, groups and communities to bring about greater understanding and better human relations in an atmosphere of sincerity, integrity and respect for persons, and mutual confidence.’ This draws the participants from their isolation and mutual mistrust. Dialogue is different from instruction, there is a mutual give and take, and its aim is not to persuade the other at the value of one’s own position. (Reid J. P). With the above in mind, the coming of Christ perfected the art of dialogue. He did not come to impose his being unto others but people freely took to him. While the Gospels
are full of Christ in dialogue, there is possibly no story better than that of Christ in conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well. While they both speak of water, they are obviously on different wavelengths. Christ is speaking on a spiritual level while the woman is on a physical plane. The dynamics of the dialogue that follow, display a woman seeking understanding. Christ does not speak down on her, which he could do, but slowly walks her through to understanding (John 4:5-38). The family is the smallest and most basic unit of both the church and community at large. In his post synodal exhortation Ecclesia in Africa after the 1994 Synod of Africa, Pope John Paul II adopted the image of the Church in Africa as the ‘Family of God.’ A communicating family that holds dialogues makes for a stronger church and as such, community. The communities group to make a nation. The nation having its base in the family should hold the values of the family, only that the level is higher. The importance of dialogue in the simple unit remains equally important at the level of the larger family which is the nation. Dialogue brings about the understanding that is a cornerstone of unity. Dialogue excludes superiority, which might seek to talk down to the inferior. It is an activity of speaking and being listened to and the other way round. Just the way a father may be considered the head of the family unit, the nation also has its own leadership. The role of the father is to lead through bringing his family together and maintain the unity of the family members. He, in a way, calls the family to order through processes such as
dialogue. Thoughts are channelled and understandings reached to maintain the much needed unity. Processes of dialogue should remain relevant for the sake of unity. The process of dialogue cannot happen from a distance. Just as a father would sit his family members down, so should the national fathers. The national leadership needs to engage the common man as to understand the issues on the ground. The call to dialogue should be taken with the seriousness it deserves. Entering into dialogue with those one might consider to be junior or lesser, should not minimise one’s power, if anything, it should consolidate it. Christ is not made any less the Son of God by talking to the woman at the well, if anything, it increases the number of his disciples. The woman understands Christ through Dialogue and she invites her town to the same understanding. She is free to ask the pertinent questions without being intimidated by Christ being a Jew or a man. Our nation, Zimbabwe, is undergoing very difficult times, Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
politically, socially, and economically. It is with this background that citizens have hope in that the current political leadership will alleviate their suffering. Christ alleviated humanity’s spiritual suffering and ushered in a new era full of hope through the love of God the Father. In the same manner, the country’s political leadership, both in and out of government, should realise that the citizens of this country expect them to alleviate their political, social and economic suffering. Dialogue, therefore, should be the thread that runs through and unites all political players. For, how can we understand each other, answer each other’s questions and be “your brother’s keeper” unless there is dialogue. I believe that the mere act of our political leaders engaging each other and finding common grounds will go a long way in responding to the hope that the citizens of this country have in them. With the onset of Christmas preparations, we look forward to a new beginning and dialogue as an expression of the love of Christ whom we are awaiting to receive and celebrate on Christmas day.
Dialogue - A Refinement of Human Ideas Fr Opinion Patrick Kupara
Etymology and Definition The word dialogue is formed from two Greek words dia (two, between or through) and logos (speech or words), thus, dialogue etymologically means an interactive speech between two people or that action aimed at eliciting meaning for the purpose of creating understanding between peoples. When the ancient Greeks promoted both the concept and culture of dialogue, their understanding was that an individual could not be intelligent on his own but only when one reasons and discovers truth together with others; ‘two heads are better than one.’ Therefore, dialogue has to do with constructing and refining human ideas in a collective fashion. Characteristics of Dialogue: Purpose driven A dialogue is an exploratory
conversational exchange undertaken between two or more parties (persons), mostly with a view to resolving a specific problem, thus, dialogue is always purpose driven. Unlike a measly discussion, dialogue is rich in its formal nature, in there, a mature interchange of thoughts transpires.
place in the scheme of dialogue.
Dynamism of dialogue and culture of dialogue Dialogue is not some method of doing something but rather an existential relationship necessary for progress-making concretized in the localization of political, social and economic stability. Any Frankness civilized society is to be guided by The right spirit of dialogue entails a culture of dialogue. Paulo Freire frank communication where says, “Dialogue is the encounter people speak and listen to each between men, mediated by the other in an ambience of basic world, in order to name the world, human respect. Hans-Georg thus this dialogue cannot be Gadamer defines conversation reduced to the act of one person (dialogue) as “a process of two depositing ideas in another, nor people understanding each other.” can it become a simple exchange (Gadamer, Hans-Georg, Truth and of ideas to be consumed by the Method, 1979, 347) Therefore, discussants.” (Freire, P., Pedagogy of the dark and bigoted spirit of the Oppressed, 1970). This means monologue that detests learning, that the tenacious challenges facing education and change. All warpeoples brings them to the table of mongering instincts simply have no dialogue for the purpose of defining Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
the world in the way they wish it to be experienced. Dialogue is learning In the truthful context of dialogue, there is nothing like a fixed truth or knowledge. “No firm rules can be laid down for conducting a Dialogue because its essence is learning…as part of an unfolding process of creative participation between peers.” (Bohm, D., Factor, D. and Garrett, P. ‘Dialogue–a proposal’, 1991). The dynamic of dialogue allows persons to bring their prejudices and still be ready not to unnecessarily compromise one’s position, but rather try to understand the other. Dialogue provides an open welcome opportunity for one to test his convictions and beliefs against those of another through a sincere and mature openness to learn from each other. There cannot be any dialogue if humility is foreign to the persons concerned; dialogue is learning. Dialogue has an educative role. It is fundamentally a process of learning and not a pontificating or officious exercise; dialogue detests any form of pride and imperiousness. Virtue in Dialogue For the reason that a dialogue is interactive, it is a relationship that should be premised on some key values and virtues such as respect, trust, sincerity, hope, concern (being humane) and level-headedness. These are clearly requisite because a fruitful dialogue only happens in a situation not forced and distorted. Dialogue should never be a game
of power; rather reciprocity and balance should characterize it. Any hegemonic propensities have to be
shirked with the rightful contempt equal to them. Fusion of Horizons A good dialogue allows for the fusing of horizons as our past views are brought before the courts of the present situation in an endeavor to guarantee a reasonable and stable future. It is precisely this fusion of horizons that results in acquiring a living value in the present instant, otherwise life can be unlivable. “The purpose of dialogue is to reveal the incoherence in our thought. In so doing, it becomes possible to discover or re-establish a ‘genuine and creative collective consciousness.” (Bohm, D., and Peat, D., Science, order, and creativity, 1987, 241). What propels a meaningful dialogue is the tabling of ideas with the motive to adequately justify them and ensuring their salability. With the activity of the fusion of horizons or human ideas, there will be what Bohm calls ‘higher social intelligence,’ something that a society could be permanently deprived of if no dialogue is set in motion; surely many sound brains will go to waste. Language / Not to win The purpose of engaging in a dialogue is not to win an argument but rather to sharpen each other’s views to come up with an enlightened and practical viewpoint. This is also why in a dialogue, the issue of language matters a lot. The language used should not be populated by sinister and toxic intentions, for that kills the spirit of dialoguing. Practical outcome Any idea put forward must not only shine with academic brilliance or wisdom, but an existential and hearty commitment should also shoulder it for its practical realization. This implies that every sincere idea carries Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
with it its own person. Hypocrisy in dialogue is a dangerous and reactionary spirit. Dialogue is intrinsically indispensable for human progress for the dynamism of thought exchanges hands when people interact. The different societal fractures that hinder necessary communication find their healing in dialogue. Thus, dialogue creates meaning among peoples. In the absence of an awakening drive to dialogue, people can easily resign to the lethargy of meaninglessness and nothingness; hence the embrace of nihilism as an enforced scapegoat. Dialogue and friendship A society is of friends and not of enemies, otherwise it would be a human jungle. Friendship is created and propelled by dialogue. It is a pity that some individuals thrive on hate and promote it amazingly, while not lifting a finger towards what unites and builds. This is a trophy of uncouthness. Recommendations Bohm’s three conditions for dialogue David Bohm proposed a triad of conditions for sound dialogue that helps build a responsive atmosphere for purposeful interaction. Firstly, the participants are required to suspend their private assumptions. “What is essential here is the presence of the spirit of dialogue, which is in short, the ability to hold many points of view in suspension, along with a primary interest in the creation of common meaning.” (Bohm, D., and Peat, D. Science, order, and creativity, 1987, 247). Secondly, the participants must have the acumen and maturity to see the other as equals, there is no master – disciple relationship in dialogue. “A Dialogue is essentially a conversation between equals.” (Bohm, D., Factor, D. and Garrett, P. ‘Dialogue–a proposal’, 1991). Thirdly, the context 16
must be hinged on the facilitation of a person of integrity. The purpose of such a figure is to lead wisely (and not manipulatively) from behind, ensuring that the sticking points do not break the dialogue. This person could be in the mold of Socrates who, as a skilled dialectician, plays a midwifery role in drawing out only that which matters in a dialogue. Results of a sincere dialogue The benefits of dialogue can really be substantially astonishing. “Long-standing stereotypes can be dissolved, mistrust overcome, and visions shaped and grounded in a shared sense of purpose. People previously at odds with one another can come into alignment on objectives and strategies. New perspectives and insights can be gained, new levels of creativity stimulated, and bonds of community strengthened.” It is very possible that an institution or a nation can authentically be born anew through an honest dialogue. (Scott London., The Power of Dialogue, https:// www.scott.london/articles/ ondialogue.html) Dialogue and the continued existence of institutions In conclusion, we wish to assert categorically that no organization or institution aims at self-destruction or self-dissolution, it rather strives for self-preservation, and dialogue is the way to go for the concretization of this natural motive. Action oriented understanding should be the desirable fruits of dialogue. The best course of action should be born of this noble process. We are saying Yes to Dialogue and No to Din, Yes to Communication and No to Crosstalk. Dialogue fulcrums on ideas and not plain allegiances. A mentality that says, ‘My enemy’s enemy is a friend and my enemy’s friend is my enemy’ is not dialogical, it is diabolical. Let Dialogue prosper, and let Diabolism perish.
Tomorrow is too late… Jesuit Youth Office’s Climate Tool Kit
Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, brings to the fore issues on the environment at a global level. It touches on cutting edge science in terms of the problem of waste, rising temperatures, extreme weather events among others. These are problems that people were already aware of in their various spheres. The point, I believe, was to bring the scientific arguments into religious discourse and form a basis for a paradigm shift. The Pope affirmatively encourages, especially through his passionate appeal against the throw away culture, the stewardship role of each person on earth. So WHY should we join the global movement on climate which now includes what are now household names like Greta Thunberg and damning reports like those from the IPCC? This is in view of the fact that Africa contributes a meagre 2%-3% Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
of greenhouse gas emissions. If one were to argue for proportional environmental action based on the amount of pollution, with China’s 29% and the United States’ 16% imposition of a proportional burden on the citizens, then the governments of these states should do more than anyone else in terms of environmental action. The unfortunate fact is that Donald Trump, President of the United States, is a documented climate change denier for example. His act of pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement is a reflection of this. This act can weaken the need for dialogue on climate change because the United States of America is an influential world power. Meanwhile, China’s weak environmental monitoring has rendered otherwise strict regulations less effective. Dialogue is needed to conscientise as many people as possible about the devastating perils of climate change. So why should we care when the real polluters do not?
The paradox of climate change is that its negative effects are most felt by those who are least able to deal with it. For example, dwindling rainfall will impact first on the people who live in arid areas like Gwanda, Bikita and the like, which are already rural economies with subsistence farmers who can be ruined by one bad season. Someone in Harare, faced with such challenges may be better able to buy imported maize, rice and other foodstuffs because of a comparatively higher income. Likewise, as Africans, the call to environmental action has little to do with our polluting habits and more to do with how to deal with the adverse effects emanating from climate change. This is why in addition to cutting down emissions, adopting healthier lifestyles and insisting on climate friendly products, we must also focus on the community resilience and sustainability of all our interventions. This is because China, an economy dwarfing Zimbabwe, for example, has more options and resources with which to deal with climate change, while our economically smaller African countries do not. Furthermore, Africa has the youngest population in the world at 200 million currently between 15 and 24. This is
estimated to double by 2045. Thus, climate action, tackled from a behavioral perspective will have the greatest impact on Africa because of a population that will keep on growing. A generation of environmentally conscious young people will pay an impressive dividend if only because of superior numbers, especially as the climate crisis worsens as expected in the coming years. So what are we doing about all this? Climate change is an issue among the youth but unfortunately, it is a vague concern that is best postponed to tomorrow for most of us. Today we feel we need to worry about what to eat, how to pursue our careers and make a fortune by the time we are 30 years old. We need to continually dialogue about climate change in order to avert it, lest its effects totally overtake us for lack of responding to the challenge. If we turn away from dialogue about the phenomenon of climate change, then focusing on a future now at the expense of environmental action will result in a futile expectation, since the future we desire may be very different from the one we will eventually experience if we continue to live the way we currently do. We are only twelve years away from the proverbial â€œpoint of no returnâ€? where Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
global temperatures rise above 2 degrees Celsius for example. How do we sow this urgency? Many people are concerned about the environment but in addition to lack of urgency, they do not seem to know how to go about doing something. Likewise, while there is wide awareness of the existence of Laudato Si and that it speaks on issues of the environment, there is need for a deeper understanding of the message of the document itself. Much like there is a gap on what to do. This is why the Jesuit Youth Office in the Province of Zimbabwe - Mozambique is working on a climate change toolkit for young catholic groups that will speak to parish and individual levels. Pursuant of the goal to guide and support youth activities, this short booklet will present a summary of what Laudato Si and other Church documents say about the environment, what the latest research is, and most importantly what youth can do. This is in an effort to help the youth to know who they can engage and what networks they can tap into. The booklet will have input from young people from across Africa, Asia and Europe, but with a particular Southern African focus on these issues. Hopefully with this small contribution in the form of a booklet, we can spur the growth of a Laudato Si Generation.
Dialogue, Mediation,Negotiation Insights on Dialogue in Practice
Fr Fidelis Mukonori SJ is a man who has been involved in the practical side of engaging persons to come to some conversation in order to resolve tough issues. In an interview with him, he provided some insight into his experience with regard to dialogue. He started by noting that the difference between human beings and other animals is that the former can dialogue, even though the latter can do better in other aspects better than human beings. Fr Mukonori says that there are different facets associated with dialogue. Primarily, there is dialogue itself, then mediation and negotiation. These three segments are of utmost importance and they are intertwined. Dialogue means to get people to start talking about important issues, to have a relationship. When that relationship is established then
dialogue becomes possible. People who hold totally different opinions but who have similar objectives need mediation, for example, when a country is nearly at war or once there has been a civil war before, then there is need for mediation. Countries with different boarders need negotiation to resolve issues. According to his experience, dialogue, noted Fr Mukonori, evolves through mediation and negotiation. Dialogue is not a straight-jacket issue. Each segment comes up at specific times as needed. One has to be alert to what is needed. Otherwise if one is inexperienced and takes oneself as a negotiator one might end up causing more harm than good. Fr Mukonori highlighted the Catholic Church’s involvement in dialogue over the centuries between governments and nations as well as within her own confines. For Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
example he pointed out the Church’s mediatory role through Pope Alexander VI in 1493 when Western Europe was closing in towards a possible war over the occupation of territory on the American continent. A possible world war was averted. The Church plays a mediatory role without grandstanding because acting in favour of peace is part of its apostolate and its role of evangelization. Another example of the Church’s involvement in negotiation concerns World War II. According to Fr Mukonori’s account, an AmericanGerman Jesuit helped to negotiate the end of the war. Because this Jesuit was German, and the commanders on Hitler’s side were his compatriots with whom he had kept contact from the past, he convinced the German commanders to speak a certain type of language to Hitler until the war ended. This has 19
remained as classified information. The International Workers’ Day is another example of the Catholic Church’s involvement in dialogue. The industrial revolution came up with development but disaster too. A worker was taken as a cog in a machine. Abuse was massive. To show the sacredness of human work Pope Leo XIII advocated for a change of attitude. For the industrialists profit was the pinnacle of industry. But the for Catholic Church human self worth cannot be traded for profit. Fr Mukonori says people may have reservations about Russia at times, but they are the ones who supported the idea “workers of the world unite.” Coming home to Zimbabwe, Fr Mukonori said that from 1966 war had somehow started in Rhodesia. Up to 1974 the then Prime Minister, Mr Ian Smith kept refusing to acknowledge that there was war in Rhodesia in order to make his Unilateral Declaration of Independence of 1965 seem a good move. Meanwhile, in 1973 the Rhodesia Catholic Bishops Conference started the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) because the Holy Father has inaugurated the International Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in 1972. Silveira House in then Salisbury was involved in sensitizing people about issues of justice and peace starting from 1964 when it was established as a national center for leadership training at the behest of the Rhodesia Catholic Bishops Conference. The Bishops’ Conference had researched for two years on the causes of the strikes and bombings that were going on in the country. Hence the
Bishops’ request for the creation of Silveira House as a leadership training center. Nationalists convened at Silveira House to map the way forward, for example, in rejecting the Five Points Plan of the Pearce Commission of 1972. People who offered leadership training at Silveira had themselves been educated in civic education and leadership training in the United Kingdom and Europe in general. So the Catholic Church, through Silveria House, in the then Rhodesia assisted in promoting conversation rather than confrontation. During the war of liberation the British Catholic Bishops Conference started communicating with the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Rhodesia. The United States Catholic Conference also engaged the Rhodesia Catholic Bishop’s Conference through the CCJP. The CCJP produced the following books which were distributed worldwide concerning the war situation in Rhodesia: (1) Men in the Middle; (2) Civil War in Rhodesia and (3) Rhodesia The Propaganda War. Obviously Mr Ian Smith banned the distribution of these books in Rhodesia. However, in 1978 the Rhodesia Catholic Bishops Conference represented by the late Archbishop Patrick Chakaipa and the late Bishop Helmut Recter SJ spent two weeks in Lusaka Zambia in dialogue with the Patriotic Front. The conclusion was that dialogue was needed to stop the war. After that the Anglo American Proposal then led to the Lanchaster House Conference. Members of the CCJP met separately with Bishop Muzorewa and his team; Rev. Ndabaningi Sithole and his team; Chief Chirau and his team; the Rhodesian Front and Mr Ian Smith as well as the Patriotic Front. The Patriotic Front made it clear that Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
they would fight until victory was attained. But through the mediatory role of the CCJP and the assistance of the Pope who was informed about the situation in Rhodesia through the nunciatures in Mozambique and Zambia, all the leaders agreed to an all parties conference. This became the Lancaster House Conference. Prior to the conference the CCJP had studied the Anglo American Proposal for two years, and they were convinced that it was the best proposal for the commencement of any serious negotiation to resolve the Rhodesian question. Since the independence of Zimbabwe, the Catholic Church has been involved in dialogue, mediation and negotiation concerning national issues. For example, the Church was involved in unraveling the Gukurahundi massacre from 1982. The Church called for a responsible redress of the matter. Also, during the farm invasions, Fr Mukonori was approached by the Commercial Farmers Union for help to deal with that sensitive matter. Again with regards to the War Collaborators who, until the year 2000, had not been officially recognized for their role in the war of liberation, Fr Mukonori through Silveira House assisted in to establish the formal identity of that group, just as the War Veterans who were remunerated with payouts in 1997. With regards to the government of national unity of 2009, Fr Mukonori said he was quietly involved in working towards the meeting of the then President Robert Mugabe and the then Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai leading to the formation of a unity government. So the lesson is quite apparent for the current dispensation and the opposition: Dialogue is indispensable for progress. It is possible and it ought to bear the desired fruit. By Staff Reporter 20
Prerequisites for Genuine Prayer: A Sincere Dialogue with God Fr Gilbert Fungai Banda SJ
Prayer is central to life. It is the touchstone to God, the Source of Life. Indeed, it is the dialogue of dialogues which brings us into communion with our Creator. Without an authentic prayer lifestyle, our lives lack the balance they need. Usually, the fruits of Prayer are seen in the way we relate to others and the entire creation. If one prays, but their life remains unchanged, or untouched by the divine are we able to say that they really pray? If they are not really praying, what is it that they are not doing properly? In this brief article I am going to focus on various components that make prayer an effective way of communicating with God. Basically, I will be focusing
on the prerequisites, which make prayer a genuine dialogue with God. Different ways of prayer can be seen as spiritual exercises that can aid or dispose a soul towards God. In the first annotation of his little book, The Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius Loyola sees prayer as (1) a way of getting rid of one’s disordered attachments so as to gain internal or spiritual freedom; (2) with this internal freedom, one is able to seek and find God. (3) And when we find God, we are able to do his will. (4) By doing God’s will we are able to attain the salvation of our souls. According to Jerónimo Nadal SJ, Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
prayer as an elevation of the mind or contemplation, is obtained by meditating on God. For Nadal, prayer should have a principle and purpose of charity and love of God, and must bear fruit in the will and in the affections, and should not be pure speculation. Prayer ought to be imaginative, reflective, and personal. Hence, our five senses are a doorway to communicating with God. Prayer bereft of emotions is dry and lifeless. However, when we use our emotions by focusing on ourselves and not God, it becomes “emotionalism.” For every good prayer, God is always the primary focus. Effective prayer, 21
like Imaginative Contemplation of the Gospels, allows the hidden self to grow stronger. Psychologists and psychiatrists have come to appreciate the value and power of our active imagination. Carl Jung used the method to help his clients become more aware of, and open to the unconscious. St Ignatius himself encouraged people to develop an intimate relationship with a God who loves them and desires the best for them. He saw something significant in human desires. However, desires can draw us closer to God or pull us away from him. Feelings of joy and sorrow, peace and distress, are important indicators, nevertheless, of the path towards fruitful communion with God Indeed, prayer is a dialogue and not a monologue. This means that when we talk to God, we in turn ought to listen attentively. How can we do this? When St Ignatius says that prayer is a way of getting rid of disordered attachments, he is aware of the fact that when we are attached to many competing desires, we are incapacitated from listening to God.
A mistake that many people fall into is that of equating “good” feelings to “good” prayer and “bad” feelings to “bad” prayer. There is neither a “good” nor a “bad” prayer. God affects our senses in whatever way he pleases. Prayer is a gift of God Our Lord, it is a way of living according to the Spirit, a mystical way of understanding spiritual and divine realities and of finding God in all things and actions. Jeronimo Nadal takes note of the following factors: (1) prayer can be very authentic without relish or spiritual feelings. (2) It is good to note regularly one’s progress in prayer. (3) Do not be in a hurry in prayer, but when you feel the grace of God our Lord, you should rest in it until the soul has had its fill in the Lord. What fills and satisfies the soul consists, not in knowing much, but in our understanding of the realities profoundly and in savouring them interiorly. Another effective way of listening to what God says in prayer is when we take time to review our prayer session. For example, after each prayer it is good to take some time Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
to review what was going on during our prayer session without judging. It is always good to take notes when we are doing this exercise. Reviewing our prayer increases our conscious awareness to the ways of God and our behavioural patterns in the light of the movements of the Spirit of God and the spirit of the evil one. Those who consistently do their Prayer Review advance in their prayer life more than those who do not. In Conclusion, we are called to become contemplatives in action. This means that prayer should influence the way we live, make judgements, execute decisions and relate with others. Prayer gives light to dialogue with others and the choices we make. As Contemplatives in Action, we become critical of our faith in ways that boost spiritual maturity. The more we dialogue with God in prayer the more we are able to see ourselves as God sees us. When we pray consistently, every day, we are able to heighten our conscious awareness of the movement of God’s Spirit in our daily life. That movement guides our dialogical exchange with other people in support of the common good. 22
The ‘Fall’ - A Story of Hope not Doom Frank Taruwona SJ
Introduction A surface reading of Genesis 3 seems to suggest that God failed to forgive the sinful humans, and that sinfulness may be unpardonable. If God failed to forgive the first human parents, why should God’s creatures assume that forgiveness is a divine virtue to emulate? This denies room for dialogue and reconciliation for, if the God-human relationship is deemed as potentially irreconcilable, then humanto-human irreconcilability can be religiously justified. The Fall Narrative is a theological story of compassion, love, reconciliation, and dialogue rather than rebellion, punishment, revenge, and doom. It would be harsh to therefore conclude that Adam and Eve hated God. This theological clarification helps correct the amateur assumption about an unbearably unforgiving dimension of God and the justification of unpardonableness of human acts. The
couple’s sense of guilt necessarily entails the justifiability of their forgivableness, for, in reciprocity, genuine regret deserves forgiveness. There can never be a historical moment in which God dooms his creation; He is ever-present for dialogue. Sin and The Ambivalence of the Garden The Fall narrative is a Jahwist myth on sin, a psychological interpretation of sin. Sin in the Bible is infidelity, including covenantal infidelity. It is also ‘guilt’, a burden the sinner has to bear (Genesis 4:13), “an enduring evil” with a lasting “damage beyond repair” on the sinner (John McKenzie 1989, 1305), and affecting the whole people (ibid, 1306). However, infidelity is followed by regret rather than obstinacy. This whole sense Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
of shame is the story’s hope in the innate human capacity to repent and love again. If the divine mercy is demonstrated, together with the human ability for remorse, then the religious narrative can be understood as a tool for encouraging forgiveness and reconciliation instead of condemning the sinner. Guilt is penitent love. Self-aggrandizement and selfcentredness are what idolatry is in the depth of Genesis’s mythical psychology. Valuing life for its sake (which leads to selfishness and isolating others, including God), or valuing wisdom for its sake (which may lead to pride/I-know-it-all attitude), instead of valuing them as a means to a dialogue and union with God, is what leads to falling. If life and wisdom (that is, tree and serpent) are in themselves good or neutral, what is bad is then pursuing them as an end in themselves, rather 23
holiness should not be defiled by disobedience (Ezekiel 47, Sirach 24:9-14). The Temple is itself a God and each other. place to encounter and reconcile God owns Eden, but seems not to live with God. When Eve states, “or there (Terje Stordalen 2000, 298). even touch it, lest you die,” (Genesis However, Stordalen suggests that the divine presence is not unmediated but 3:3) though different from initial rather mediated by Eden. To create the instruction given by God to Adam – drama of rebellion more effectively, the which does not include the “touch it” narrative tones down the idea of God’s warning – (Genesis 2:16-17), still, it omnipresence (ibid, 233) so that his is theologically reasonable. The line apparent non-omnipresence may give might parallel Uzzah’s death after humans the freedom of privacy and touching the ark (2 Samuel 6:6-8). space so as to fully attain and utilize If Eden is the Temple, then Adam is the antagonist power to defile divine a priest. Adam, as a priest, can touch order (Joseph Blenkinsopp 1983, the sacred, though no one should 108). The “mediated presence” and defile it. Eve cannot touch it because absence, that is, the apparent divine she is not a priest. That is why she limitedness, magnifies human freedom says she cannot even touch the fruit, and transcendence, thus, giving the lest she dies. That the instruction audience a sense of responsibility about the fruit carries “a blessing towards priorities and lifestyle. If or a curse,” typical of Covenants God creates humans with the capacity (Genesis 2:15, 3:3), [John for freedom, then it entails that God McKenzie 1965, 153] suggests its knows all possible potentials of the covenantal stature. Since covenants freedom capacity (to be faithful or were accompanied by rituals (ibid, to fall). Leaving Adam and Eve by 153), this further insinuates Adam’s themselves entails God understanding priesthood (considering that Temple that the humans need their space to rituals were coordinated by priests). make mistakes as they grow. Wisdom Since priesthood is an office of needs to grow out of experience. Such reconciliation between God and parental dimension insinuates divine humanity, and the Temple is the readiness to forgive and correct the place of cleansing and for staging children/creatures who are in the that reconciliation process, then the learning process. It also shows the Temple identity of the garden and parental trust and assurance that the the priestly identity of Adam indicate children would not get into destruction that reconciliation is inherent (doom) during the learning process. throughout the story. Hence, human It is unthinkable that the parental nature is never doomed to eternal approach of allowing learning through condemnation. experiencing entails a plot to trap humanity into condemnation. The Humanity has wisdom prior to the inherence of divine filiality in the story Fall (Blenkinsopp 1983, 7); that entails the inherence of divine love and is why they could intuit the beauty pardon throughout the plot. of the fruit, and at the same time Priestly Symbol for Reconciliation know the possibility of death and With ancient-Near Eastern association rebellion. But they seek absolute of a garden with worship and divine life and wisdom, the certainty (of powers, a Hebrew audience could life, prosperity, and security), easily see Eden, life, and wisdom as which would deem God and others representing the Jerusalem Temple, unnecessary, since, when such hence, the “Zion-Eden,” whose certainty is guaranteed, a person than as a means to unite with
Mukai - Vukani No.74 2019| | Mukai - Vukani No.74 | | December October 2019
may feel no (desperate) need for (divine) parenthood and the presence of the other. They realize from experience that their lives need more than self-sustenance. Life is not just about surviving or existing, but about love. Realizing that wisdom, they also realize that their self-centredness is deplorable. By hurting their relationships (with God and with each other), they interiorly hate themselves. After the Fall the wisdom is boosted beyond serpentine sapience; the serpent (the unexperienced wisdom) cannot even participate in the conversation with God (Stordalen 2000, 237). Guilt silences proud wisdom, because guilt becomes the humble yet superior wisdom which can converse with God and acknowledge human limitedness. Shame becomes more visible and powerful than the once-desired blind greatness. The fear of God failed to bridle appetites, but the resultant guilt revives the fear, now felt as deep sorrow, desperately desiring forgiveness. Pride and self-gratifying desire may be stronger than naivety, but remorse is stronger than all of them. The depth of the sinner’s remorse justifies the reciprocation of the forgiver’s compassion. It is easier to embrace a broken, remorseful child than a proud adamant child because the former is genuinely and desperately ready for the embrace, knowing the value of the embrace (Luke 15:11-32, “The Prodigal Son”). The remorse of Adam and Even entails the reasonableness of the divine embrace, hence God’s clothing them representing divine filial embrace. This is a story of family, not political or military rivalry. During Babylonian New Year’s festivals, before renewing kingship, the king removed insignia and confessed sins, and the removal was an expression of shame, the 24
realization that iniquity had stripped the king of his dignity (ibid, 460). Humility is respect. Adam and Eve experience shame in the awareness of their nudity, and cover their nudity and respectfully hide from God’s presence. Realizing the permanence of the guilt effect, God adds to their initiative and clothes them (Genesis 3:21) so that the shame would not continue to overwhelm them. In itself, the gesture is God’s compassion, an invitation, and assistance to love. If God does not clothe (show compassion), shame will keep humanity hidden from God (Genesis 3:8). Forgiveness helps the remorseful perpetrator to be more capable of handling the permanence of the guilt. This means that forgiveness is a kind gesture of granting or restoring dignity and healing to a penitent person. Defiling the garden is defiling the earth, and is similar to defiling the Temple, for, since God is found in nature (Romans 1:20), destroying nature is defiling the chance to encounter God. Similarly, in the current times, that is why humanity has to be careful; defiling earth with activities that promote global warming, pollution, and land degradation may lead to humanity being expelled from earth through extinction because, when nature has been severely compromised, humanity cannot survive without nature. However, the chance to regain stewardship is present in reforestation, cutting down on the use of fossil fuel, the use of green
energy, and many other ways of promoting the revival of earth’s Eden identity; dialogue and reconciliation with the whole of nature. Such may be similar to a return from exile, return into the garden, or humanity covering themselves by newly planted trees, a chance to reflect on God through nature (Romans 1:20); hence, reconciliation through reforestation. Conclusion “The Fall” is an invitation to the formation of a heart strongly abhorred by the burden of sin. It is a call for repentance and a return to faithfulness. Guilt’s desperation re-humbles the sinner who ceases to deify himself/herself and returns to trust in Yahweh. It is a story of a desperate love, dialogue, and reconciliation, more than it is a story of infidelity. It is the metamorphosis of wisdom from naiveté to pride to guilt. Eden is a minefield of infidelity, as well as YHWH’s saving Temple, an ambivalent ground for the free application of wisdom. In itself, wisdom is “a hallmark for divinity” (Stordalen 2000, 237). “Fear of YHWH is discipline in wisdom… Only the humble are truly wise” (ibid, 298). The permanence of guilt is not punishment but just the consequence of sin. Humanity is clothed by God, not only for the sake of respecting God but also for the sake of coping with the permanence of guilt. The clothing is like “the cloud of forgetting,” whereby God invites the penitent to
forget sin and, rather, contemplate on the loving God (The Cloud 1978, 66-67). This contemplation on God is more efficient than worrying or planning on how not to sin since contemplation makes God more immediate, thus making it difficult for sin to interrupt because, in the light of contemplation, sin can easily be seen for what it venomously is. Shame is a sacrificial flame that burns pride like the crushing of the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15 “Protoevangelium”: early representation of Salvation, Jesus conquering sin); the penitent would loathe re-experiencing alienation. The sinner who has been forgiven would be more committed to making effort to ensure that he/she would not offend the other again. In such a newly attained state of vigilance, even the smallest of suggestions to offend would be magnified and thwarted in one’s heart. A steward and humble use of wisdom is honourable; a self-deifying one is deplorable; and reparative wisdom is reconciliatory. Despite falling into pride and disobedience, guilt is a chance to rediscover union with God, neighbour, and the whole of creation. The narrative’s priesthood is God’s absolution inherent in humanity/creation. In the Jubilees, Adam burns incense at Eden’s gates as done at the Holy of Holies (Stordalen 2000, 438), a symbolical replacement of the flaming sword and, thus, “creating the possibility of perpetual access to Eden through ritual sacrifice” (Lanfer 2012,140).
Vision Statement Mukai- Vukani (“Arise”) magazine for the Jesuit Province of Zimbabwe-Mozambique serves as a magazine for theological reflection for Jesuits in the said Province and their friends. It seeks to help in finding the direction of life in the light of the Word of God at any given time. In this way the magazine facilitates dialogue among Jesuits and their friends based on study, prayer and discernment. Mukai - Vukani 2019| | Mukai - VukaniNo.74 No.74| December | October 2019
Book Review The chance for repentance and reconciliation is a chance for enabling humans to feel human again after falling. The Fall Narrative, through promising forgiveness and reconciliation, promises human dignity despite human sinfulness. That means that God is ever ready to dialogue with human beings.
Love for the Country -Love of God’s People The Man in the Middle : Fr Fidelis Mukonori SJ Published by the House of Books, Harare 2017
their exceptional students when they are young and encourage them not to run from their country, but to be the ones that rebuild it.” “My Parents were warm loving people, they were part of the upper caste of Shona society” (even though they were treated as second-class citizens in racist Rhodesia). They Fr Oskar Wermter SJ read Fr Fidelis’ were very ambitious to give their book for you, so that you can read it 10 children (4 boys, 6 girls) a good eventually yourself. education. Fidelis was educated at Chishawasha Catholic Mission. He This autobiography had a very ambitious plan for his life. was not written for the personal glory He got to know the Jesuits and felt of the author, but for the benefit of he had a vocation to the Society of the people of God in Zimbabwe. Jesus. “I love Zimbabwe…..”writes Fr His going to Zambia to the Novitiate Mukonori, “As Zimbabweans , (first stage of formation for any we have rights, but we also have a Jesuit) in Lusaka led to the suspicion responsibility to take care of our that he might want to join the country as well as a duty to protect it. freedom fighters (this was the earliest ….I appeal to all teachers everywhere stage of the War of Liberation to find the spark of leadership in 1971). The Jesuit superiors wanted
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him to be a (non-ordained) Brother though Fidelis was thinking of the priesthood. He accepted the decision and was happy. That he became first a Brother was providential. So he was at first not sent to a long and time consuming course in a seminary. This freed him for his deep commitment to the work in the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission where he played a crucial role in giving witness to Justice as the country was moving into armed violence in a guerilla war. Fidelis was soon the contact man to the fighters, a very risky and dangerous job. More than once he was threatened by armed guerillas, who might have shot him. But he escaped and was able to bring valuable information to the HQ of CCJP in Harare which resulted in printed brochures with reports (text and photos) on the fighting, distributed in Zimbabwe and
worldwide. The first one was “Men in the Middle”, a title which he adopted to describe his own role. Fidelis was deeply involved in recording acts of violence. But he was not a man of violence himself. He was always on the lookout for peace initiatives. In 1975 he describes the scene thus, “If the Rhodesians had been serious about negotiating for peace, this would have been the time to do it. There was still room for peace. The events that followed after the failed conference ensured that the only path left was one soaked in blood and violence, and unfortunately as war does not discriminate, that blood would be flowing from as many innocents as it would [from] soldiers and guerillas , if not far, far more” (p. 68). Such a late turning back from war to peace, would have undone the decision of the nationalists when they gave up negotiating with the intransigent Rhodesian leadership and opted for armed violence and guerilla tactics against the Rhodesian farmers and their communities. Alas, it was too late. Fidelis understood why the liberation fighters had taken that route, while standing by if there was a chance to regain peace and stop the floods of blood in the bush war. More than once Fidelis faced a firing squad, expecting to die any moment. He experienced how casual the combatants were are about pulling the trigger of their guns, and that life in such a war is worth nothing. Wars certainly cause fighters to lose respect for life, for the dignity of human persons and for the respect we owe to creation and nature in general. How can we recognize once more that life is precious, is in fact a great treasure, how can we teach once more our brothers and sisters about our common duty to honour the Creator in his creatures. ‘Action and Reflection’ is how Jesuits
should proceed. Fidelis was given a break to reflect on what he had seen and done when he did development studies in Canada. There is still great need for Zimbabweans who have suffered war and violence, were tortured, raped and humiliated, to recover their humanity and self-respect. With this experience and these frightening encounters in his memory Fidelis had not forgotten his original dream and hope to eventually be ordained a priest and become pastor for his people, even though he recognized that his early years as a Brother had been providential, a mission for Justice and Peace the Lord had given him with a purpose. Studying for the priesthood led him finally to ordination in 1991. While the war and the slaughter of innocent people continued, there were also constant attempts at negotiating peace and eventually reconciliation. A delegation of the Bishops’ Conference met with the leaders of the Liberation Forces in Lusaka (the late Archbishop Patrick Chakaipa led the delegation, the late Bishop Helmut Reckter sj was part of it.) The liberation forces had been in the assembly point and sent home with their “packages”. But the family members of fallen heroes and slaughtered civilians were not at peace yet and, traumatized, had not found any inner freedom. Father Mukonori’s book should motivate his readers to start their process of rehabilitation after the trauma of the violence and horror they had seen. This was another step on the road to Lancaster House, London, and the peace negotiations under the leadership of the British Government. The alternative to war had always been talking at a round table and engaging in dialogue. The arms had fallen silent, but the bush Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
warriors were still deeply hurt, not just physically, but mentally and spiritually. The former women guerillas were a special case. “They were never to look down on them or talk down to them…. The obvious point was that these were heroes in need of help on their way back to the free society they had been instrumental in creating. Also, these were trained killers.” (185), Fidelis sternly instructed his staff at Silveira House. What is the role of a woman combatant in a war? This should lead to other questions: Is soldiering really for women? Were they not created as life-givers, rather than killers? Can they regain their womanhood after the bloodshed and horror they have gone through? Fr Mukonori addressed the women fighters at their rehabilitation course at Silveira House,”You are women who have lived by the gun. …Now you are returning to take on the roles of mothers, wives, professionals and ordinary citizens. If you do not leave behind the soldier, your marriages will suffer…..It will take time to adjust , but you must put down the past…..”(188). The majority of fighters were of course men, and they too encountered many obstacles. The leaders moved into high positions, got farms and became rich. The guerillas got their financial “packages” which were spent, often wasted, very soon. They felt the leaders had forgotten them or were neglecting them. They even rebelled against their president who was shocked and felt his position was at risk. A generous distribution of more funding for the heroes seemed to be the only way to keep control. They received another lump sum of money as they had soon after the war had ended, and a monthly pension. Our author found no excuse for this colossal mistake. This was just another instant of this new government spending more than its budget 27
allowed. Have they ever learnt, even until the present day that no government must ever spend more than it actually has in its possession? This reckless distribution of nonexistent funds is having its impact on our ruined economy until the present say. Fr Mukonori worked closely with Sally Mugabe “in her effort yo rehabilitate and reintegrate the female freedom fighters on their way from the camps back into society” (184). The more we look at the terror of war, the more we have to question the need for it! Fr Mukonori’s book should be an eye-opener for us all, men and women, Christians and agnostics and traditional believers. Violence does not help, does not lead to real Peace. The ex-combatants had hoped they would be given farms. For them the war had been about the land taken when the colonial settlers occupied the best farming land and pushed the real owners into remote corners of the country which was useless because it was unproductive. The resettlement exercise was the
final scene for Fidelis in the violence of this “chimurenga” war. The reviewer has not touched on all aspects of this guerilla war leading to liberation. I wrote this review mainly to present Fr Fidelis Mukonori sj to you and his role in the war of liberation, courageous observer of the fighting and of the turbulent development of the new country in its early stages. Just reading this book is not enough. Readers must bring in their own experience of the war and its violence and help in freeing the traumatized Zimbabwean citizens from the horror of the blood spilt. This book must not gather dust in libraries, but must become a bestseller in the hands of Zimbabwe’s new citizens. Fidelis wrote this memoir not just as a military or political hero, but as a Christian, as a religious and Jesuit brother who eventually found his way into the priesthood which had been his very early
dream. He served soon again people driven across frontiers and tested by yet another war, the civil war in neighbouring Mozambique between Frelimo and Renamo. Based in Marymount Mission he came to the aid of the refugees from this war in camps near Marymount Mission, on the border to Mozambique. In his final chapter the author allows us to look into his heart, the heart of a companion of Jesus (Jesuit). “In each decision, each prayer to God, I am asking for the most righteous path. With meditation and practice, the answer always comes. Doubting Thomas is known for questioning Christ and he became one of the most well-known and relevant of the Apostles today. If you have doubt in your heart, asking the Divine for intervention is not the same as giving the choice away to someone else. Rather your are asking your finest self, the self you consider to be moulded in God’s image, your soul and your divine spark, to give you the answer that will be closest to His will. If you are honest with Him and yourself, your answer will get you where you need to be.” (301 / 302).
Mukai - Vukani No.74 | December 2019 |
Mukai- Vukani No.75 is out! It is our Christmas Edition. This edition is themed around 'Dialogue'. There is much discussion about the need...
Published on Dec 24, 2019
Mukai- Vukani No.75 is out! It is our Christmas Edition. This edition is themed around 'Dialogue'. There is much discussion about the need...