Christian vote campaign launched

Source: Christian vote campaign launched – DailyNews Live

STAFF WRITER      6 July 2017

HARARE – A consortium of church organisations yesterday launched a bold
and Bible-based campaign to mobilise Christians to vote in the crucial
2018 elections, seeking to permanently put an end to the culture of
violence, corruption and incompetence.

The launch was held yesterday at the Zimbabwe Council of Churches
headquarters in Harare.

Comprising Zimbabwe Council of Churches, Zimbabwe Divine Destiny, Zimbabwe
Christian Alliance, Christian Action Trust Zimbabwe, Prayer Network
Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Pastors’ Fellowship and Student Christian Movement of
Zimbabwe, the churches said they will mobilise the entire Christian
community to integrate messages of peace in weekly church services, youth
and women’s services.

The churches said they will ensure the next elections avoided the kind of
violent turmoil that marred the 2008 polls. Then, 200 supporters of the
Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC were allegedly killed by Zanu PF supporters.

The church consortium pledged to “mobilise the Christian community to
report any acts of politically-motivated violence.”

“The church will engage with all political actors and players to ensure
that there is peace. We will encourage the church to register and to vote
for candidates of principle and integrity and speak out boldly and openly
about electoral processes in Zimbabwe,” the communique said.

The churches called upon all political parties and candidates to “work
towards promoting free, fair and peaceful elections, to promote peace
amongst their followers and condone any acts of violence, to desist from
creating fear through intimidation and manipulation of communities and to
field candidates that uphold principles and values of integrity,
transparency, honesty and respect for the Constitution.”

This disparate group, traditionally seen as lacking clout, has been
propelled into political activism by President Robert Mugabe’s
controversial economic stewardship that has wrecked the economy, mainly
healthcare and social welfare, according to clergy members, activists and

A key test will be how well it will be able to translate its mobilisation
into votes in the 2018 elections.

“We, as shepherds will uphold our biblical values and role in being the
salt and light to our community; uphold our prophetic role to speak truth
to power and to hold power to account and to mobilise the Christian
community in urban and rural communities to effectively participate and
work towards peaceful, free, transparent and fair electoral processes,”
the churches said in their communique.

Although they get little attention from candidates, Christian voters are
likely to be fundamental to any victories in the key 2018 election, with
evangelicals seemingly more enthusiastic than the general population about
the crucial polls.