Source: Churches denounce violence | The Herald August 15, 2019
Kudakwashe Mugari and Joseph Madzimure
The Zimbabwe Council of Churches have denounced violence and urged leaders of various denominations to preach the gospel of peace in the country.
The Church also says national dialogue is key to solving challenges in the country, and this is coming ahead of violent protests planned by the opposition MDC-Alliance tomorrow.
In a letter addressed to the faithful and copied to President Mnangagwa on August 9, 2019 the church body reiterated the call for an inclusive national dialogue to help the people address pressing national challenges.
‘‘Churches are worried by threats of violence following the call for mass demonstration on the 16th of August 2019 by the Movement for Democratic Change,” the pastoral letter reads.
“The church leaders are deeply worried by the invocation in some quarters of the violence of August 2018 and January 2019 to sow fear and deepen political polarisation amongst our people.
‘‘The church leaders would want to recognise both the citizens constitutional right to demonstrate peacefully as well as the state constitutional responsibility to maintain law and order within the confines of the law and order within the confines of the law,” said Rev Kenneth Mtata.
He called for an inclusive national dialogue.
‘‘The fact that some Zimbabweans feel compelled to take to the streets to demonstrate to voice their concerns evinces the need for a broad-based and comprehensive dialogue process towards the resolution of urgent and long-term challenges undermining unity, trust and patriotism
“To this end the, church leaders do hereby exhort His Excellency, President Mnangagwa and the leader of the MDC, Nelson Chamisa to explore the possibility of accelerating much needed dialogue in this time of deepening national division and despair.”
The call by the churches comes after the Zimbabwe church denominations held a meeting in Chinhoyi on August 8, 2019 in the context of strengthening efforts towards an inclusive comprehensive national dialogue process as well as to respond to current pressing issues.
In March this year, the church leaders had an interface with President Mnangagwa in which they promised to be part of the new dispensation by contributing to the building of a united, peaceful, just and prosperous Zimbabwe