Churches believe that the government has an opportunity to holistically address the predicaments that have been bedevilling Zimbabwe by bringing all key stakeholders to contribute towards a comprehensive post-COVID-19 nation.
In a wide-ranging interview with NewsDay’s Brenna Matendere, Zimbabwe Council of Churches General Secretary Reverend Dr Kenneth Mtata drew the nation to the board of reality where he reminded everyone that the pandemic comes at a time when the Southern African nation was facing a myriad of challenges.
Here is an excerpt of the interview:
Brenna Matendere: What is the church’s view on the national lockdown and how has it affected faith-based organisations?
Rev. Dr Mtata: The lockdown was necessary to curb the spread of the COVID-19. It affected the churches and other faith-based organisations as it did other sectors of society since religion is a contact sport. It was, however, necessary.
Brenna Matendere: As churches, are you happy with how government is managing COVID-19. What more could the government do?
Rev. Dr Mtata: COVID-19 comes at a time the nation is facing challenges at three levels. (1) The nation is not united, (2) the Constitution has not been fully implemented, and (3) the economy is weak, hence, the health services are in a state of dysfunction. People can debate the cause of such fragility, but the fact of the matter is that with this triple challenge, there could never have been adequate preparedness for COVID-19. Nevertheless, the government has an opportunity to address all these issues in a holistic way by bringing all key stakeholders to contribute towards a comprehensive post-COVID-19 Zimbabwe.
ND: You wanted to bring Mnangagwa and Chamisa to the negotiating table. What happened to your plans?
Rev. Dr Mtata: The intention was to cultivate a culture of dialogue among Zimbabweans across different levels of society. Mnangagwa and Chamisa represent the largest followership of voters if we use the figures of the last election. Their co-operation engenders a positive national atmosphere. The two could have achieved more if they co-operated than when they worked against each other. So their co-operation is what we wanted to promote since before and after the elections in 2018. We think it remains important. We must promote it. We will still do that.
Read the full interview here.
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