For some reasons best known by himself, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) president Dr Shingi Munyeza had sought to defer the inaugural Zim Peace Festival to a later date, precisely after the general elections which are slated for July 30, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Chief Executive Dr Karikoga Kaseke revealed.
Addressing members of the media, churches and artists at a final Zim Peace Festival media briefing on Thursday afternoon in Harare, Kaseke said the Government deciphered nonsense in what the EFCZ head honcho said.
“Tomorrow’s event is aligned with churches but it is for everybody who loves peace in this country. We’re putting churches in the leadership role for tomorrow’s festival although it is not only for the churches.”
“The government spoke to us (ZTA) to organise people to pray for peace, to praise God for the peace that we have in this country.”
“It is true indeed, the Zim Peace Festival is a brainchild of the Zimbabwean government. The government of Zimbabwe love peace. So when they thought about having a programme where we encourage everyone to have peace, to promote peace, to pray for peace, the government of Zimbabwe talked to us and we approached all the churches,” Kaseke continued.
“Any church in this country falls under some denominational organisation, Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Council of Churches. We spoke to them all, including the leader of them all… the denomination head Shingi Munyeza. We spoke to him.
“So, we were told that our point of contact was supposed to the head of the denominations Shingi Munyeza. He then called us last week, telling us that it was going to be better if we were to have this peace prayer, peace march after the elections.”
Kaseke said that they did not go Munyeza route because as the government, they believe in praying for peace before, during and after the elections.
“We found nonsense in that. As the government, we say that we want to pray for peace before the elections, during the elections and after the elections. So, if we are to gather and pray for peace after elections, the assumptions is that is not now a prayer, maybe something like Thanksgiving. So we said we have heard you Mr Munyeza. It makes a lot of sense, but we will proceed with those who think that peace should be prayed for before and after the elections,” he said.
“So we went forward and met with churches who said that they do not want to meet only after the elections, rather they want to meet before the elections and pray for elections, so that the course to the election is peaceful, so that our elections are done in peace. Mr Munyeza wanted so much but he wanted it to happen after the election. So we said we will proceed with those who want to do it before elections.”
The Zim Peace Festival is happening tomorrow, July 27, in Harare.
A non-sectarian and apolitical event aimed at drawing together God-fearing artists and the people to pray and celebrate peace within the nation, the fete is of vital magnitude in the calendar of activities as it will feature gospel singers from across diverse creeds and will see them promoting, religious tourism, unity, peace and non-violence during the imminent 2018 harmonised elections set for July 30.
Organised in a carnival fashion is themed ‘Shout to the Lord’, taking off at 10 am, with a cortege of choirs, bands, uniformed forces, and artists parading from Simon Muzenda, moving along Jason Moyo Street and proceed to Glamis Arena where the main event will hold stand.
Dr Kaseke said that by the time of the press conference forty denominations and individual sects had confirmed that they will be coming to the fete.
He also said that the Ministry had managed to work out 15 buses to transport attendees and were still looking to secure more as fifteen are not ample.