“Where The Nation Is Hurting, The Church Must Be There”

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The Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD) has urged political parties to desist from toxic politics and unite in addressing challenges facing the nation. The ecumenical syndicate said there was a need to take a bold decision and address the root causes of national challenges.

ZHOCD secretary-general Reverend Dr Kenneth Mtata told The Herald in an interview that unity was key in fixing the nation’s problems.

“The moratorium is meant to mobilise the nation towards a process in which we can rest from the toxic political environment that is affecting the way we can work together. Our calling is symbolic in that it comes from the seventh day (Sabbath day), which God rested after working for six days.

It has a symbolic function. So the real content of Sabbath is rest. I think if we can understand this, then the substance of that period of rest can be meaningful to many people. This is the reason why we are calling for elections after seven years,” said Rev Mtata.

Rev Mtata said the church has a crucial role in bringing people together.

“The church must always be present. Where the nation is hurting, the church must be there. We never suggest anything on what they must do politically except when the nation is in a crisis. We met at the Africa Synod House on October 7, 2019, to consider the currently unfolding national crisis in its totality and to propose what we believe is a comprehensive but sustainable solution to it,” he said.

Last week, the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations which is made up of Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ), Union for Development for Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe (UDACIZA), Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) and Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), called for the suspension of elections for seven years to give Zimbabweans a time to heal from past political wounds and find a unified approach in solving all issues affecting the nation.

Sadly, major political stakeholders, both from the ruling party, Zanu PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) reportedly shot down at it.

Zanu PF secretary for administration Dr Obert Mpofu told a local paper that the country was coming from elections that produced winners and there was no need to suspend the Constitution. He said economic hardships were not caused by elections and the proposals by the churches were misplaced.

The Advocate Nelson Chamisa-led MDC said that it welcomes the efforts by churches to end the socio-economic and political crises in the country, but rejected the idea of suspending a democratic procedure of choosing national administration. Party spokesperson, Hon. Daniel Molokele said that it was of much vitality to find an everlasting solution to the political crisis which is the root of all the problems in the country.

Jealousy Mawarire, the spokesperson for National People’s Party and executive director for the Centre for Elections and Democracy in Southern Africa (CEDSA), said the church’s proposal was to be stopped as it served to give the incumbent president more years at the helm.

Other stakeholders who have spoken against the Sabbath includes Professor Jonathan Moyo, Obert Gutu (MDC-T), Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity & Broadcasting Services Energy Mutodi and Civil Society Activist Takura Zhangazha.

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ImChris Charamba

ImChris Charamba

Head Storyteller at Enthuse Afrika. Balances literary writing with pop culture experience. Captivates raw, authentic sights, moments, feelings and conversations. Follow me on Twitter @ImChrisCharamba

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