Thobekile Khumalo, Sunday News Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Council of Churches last week held a consultative meeting with chiefs and church leaders to support the Government’s efforts in bringing national healing and reconciliation through the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission.
The aim of the meeting held in Bulawayo was to map ways in which churches and chiefs, based on the strength of their moral authority and leadership in resolving a wide range of social challenges, could meaningfully contribute towards effective closure of present and past problems including Gukurahundi.
Speaking during the meeting, ZCC general-secretary Reverend Kenneth Mtata said leaders should have joint acknowledgment of each other’s interest to find lasting solutions to societal problems.
“In order to develop a shared understanding on the Gukurahundi issue, chiefs and church leaders should have mutual recognition of each other’s interests and past experiences,” he said.
In an interview, ZCC acting citizenship and good governance officer Mr Tinashe Gumbo said the two-day event was meant to create rapport in working to solve developmental issues.
“Our expectations from the meeting were to see how best we could make two institutions work together, that is the traditional and church leaders to influence a peaceful life in Zimbabwe economically and socially. We also wanted the traditional and church leaders to build what we call sustainable peace in Zimbabwe which I am glad to say that there is a partnership that was agreed upon by these leaders,” he said.
A similar meeting was held last year in Matabeleland South where various issues were explored to ensure that churches and traditional leaders continue to pull in the same direction to address issues and challenges communities are facing.