Members of the media and the public who are incessantly reporting and blaming members of the Zimbabwe National Army for launching robust operations on unarmed citizens – shooting live rounds, leading to the death of six people – do not only have a difficult relationship with realism, but are also doing a disservice to the work of our valiant soldiers.
The little-known cleric claimed that he was in the streets of Harare when the open fire took place on the 1st of August and that an Isuzu twin cab shot at the people, not the ZNA.
Responding to a question asked by the media on the church’s stance on the unpleasant murders of civilians by soldiers after the 2018 harmonised election, the cleric who refused to disclose his name to this writer in a follow-up interview attempt, said:
“As a Christian, I think if we take a black cloud and a red one, and put them together they do not match. So, my word on the violence that took place in town is, before elections, all parties agreed that no one would incite his members to carry out violent politicking: before or after the election announcement.
“So I would say the blame could go to the country. Maybe some would say the soldiers were wrong, but to me, I have a wife who was hauled in the street by the people who were causing the violence which the soldiers stopped. She was hauled on our way from the hospital. It affected me so much I cannot even talk about it.
“If people were killed, yes, we are very sorry for that, but, who breached (the pre-electoral peace pledge)? It is the political party influence which prompted the noise. If all had agreed to the electoral (peace pledge) that they signed, I think the elections were peaceful.
“So, on that I can say, as Bishops, we say yes, people died and we are very sorry for that. But at times, if politicians follow their whims…I walk in the truth. We will see that there was an Isuzu twin cab that shot at people, not the soldiers because I was in the streets. Not soldiers, lest we give our country a wrong image.”
An unpopular opinion it is, presented there are graphic visuals of the soldiers firing live rounds in the air and at people, the Bishop was requested to disclose further information about the mysterious Isuzu vehicle.
Badly edged, it took ZTA Chief Executive Dr Karikoga Kaseke‘s interference to save up the Bishop’s day.
Dr Kaseke, who insisted that the press conference was not called upon by the ZTA but by the parishes, with a heavy heart then appealed to the conference gatherers that they do not speak about the shootings as it is a fresh wound to everyone.
He also said that the state has set up a commission of inquiry to look into what ensued.
Other church leaders who spoke during the press conference applauded ZTA for the Zim Peace Festival initiative and also congratulated President Mnangagwa for winning the election.
Among those in attendance were delegates from the Federation of Indigenous Churches of Zimbabwe (FICZ), the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Churches Council (ZACC) and the Zimbabwe National Elders Forum (ZNEF).
In the case, which has already been responded to by the President-elect E.D. Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), Noah Manyika and Elton Mangoma, Adv Chamisa is challenging the July 30 presidential election results which gave incumbent Mnangagwa a 50, 8 percent of the overall votes.
The Constitutional Court will on Wednesday, August 22, hear the case.
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