SEVERAL church organisations met in Harare yesterday where a consensus was reached to put pressure on President Robert Mugabe to leave office for allegedly failing to run the country.
BY REJOICE CHINGWARU/OBEY MANAYITI
The Zimbabwe Divine Destiny (ZDD), Christian Prophetic Voice Zimbabwe, Christian Voice, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, Christian Alliance and Prayer Network Zimbabwe, among others, convened a meeting to discuss efforts and approaches being taken by church organisations in response to Zimbabwe’s challenges.
The convener of the meeting, Ancelimo Magaya, said Mugabe was abusing citizens’ rights and implementing unworkable policies.
“There is a clear indication and consensus that President Mugabe has failed us. We feel very strongly that he is also too old to continue,” Magaya said.
“He has failed and we have made observations that whatever difficulties we are going through right now, it is actually a result of the leadership crisis where a leader has failed to provide servant leadership.”
Magaya said his ZDD would particularly mobilise for Mugabe to realise the need to pave way for others.
“As ZDD, we are going to increase action against reckless policies, ad hoc policies such as the introduction of bond notes. We are also going to resist a situation where a given bunch of people really take our lives for granted. Now we really have to push for his (Mugabe’s) retirement,” he said.
Pius Wakatama, of the Christian Prophetic Voice of Zimbabwe, said the Zanu PF government was politicising food aid, disrespecting the rule of law and was corrupt, urging the church to rise and defend the poor and powerless from abuse.
Opposition parties also threw their support behind the call by churches for Mugabe to step down.
MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said: “The involvement of the church in the country’s politics is a new dawn and vindicates what we have always said. We have always called for democracy and Mugabe to step down, but because we are a generally Christian nation, we hope they will accept the church’s call.”
Zimbabwe People First spokesperson Rugare Gumbo also said they were in full support of the church’s call for Mugabe to retire.
“The church has always been involved in politics even before independence and it played a big role in fighting oppression. The church is now reawakening and we hope the rest of the nation will look at the situation from the church’s perception,” Gumbo said.
Kurauone Chihwayi, the spokesperson for the MDC, also welcomed the stance taken by the Christian denominations.
“We hail the position taken by the clergy since it buttresses and approves the call by opposition political parties and civic society.
There is need for all sections of society to explore and agree on a working political formula or language that Robert Mugabe will understand,” Chihwayi said.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD) have urged citizens to be vigilant, tolerant and united in working together towards transformation of the floundering economy.
ZHOCD raised concern over the delays in processing real-time gross settlement payments for a period of up to eight days.
The church leaders urged authorities to ensure that there was no heavy-handedness in ensuring compliance on various measures put forward in the financial sector, while expressing concern over high lending rates by local financial institutions and the introduction of bond notes.
They said if the government decides to carry on with bond notes, they must have an expiry date not going beyond December 2017. They called for the introduction of an independent board to monitor issuance of bond notes and allow respected international monetary institutions to monitor their injection into the financial system.