These are the words of Morgan Tsvangirai, new Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, in his speech in Harare today. This is how the BBC reports this:
In a gesture of reconciliation, Mr Tsvangirai quoted a speech on reconciliation made by Mr Mugabe in 1980, saying “it is time to turn our swords into ploughshares”.
The quotation is of course a biblical allusion, to Micah 4:3 and Isaiah 2:4 (two closely parallel passages) – but I won’t use this biblical allusion as people have used biblical allusions in US politicians’ speeches, as somehow indicating that they are Christians.
I don’t think anyone would expect this biblical vision of the end times to be literally fulfilled in Zimbabwe in the near future. But now at last there is real hope for reconciliation and recovery from years of conflict and poverty. The new power sharing agreement allows the country to set out on what will certainly not be an easy path. But perhaps it is even more hopeful than if Tsvangirai had won the presidential election and then attempted to assert his authority over Mugabe’s supporters.
I hope that the international community will be able to accept this deal, and that both they and the Zimbabwean government will open the way for the kind of aid that the country needs to get itself back on its feet as quickly as possible. But first the more radical supporters of both sides must heed this call to put away their swords and get back to ploughing their country so they can reap a rich harvest.
We must continue to pray for Zimbabwe.