Indigenous churches preach peace

Indigenous churches preach peace

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MEMBERS of the Zimbabwe Indigenous Inter-Denominational Council of Churches (ZIICC) do not share perverse desires for conflict, as is the case with some other religious organisations, but prefer to work together with the Government to build a bright future for the nation.

Addressing a press conference in Mutare yesterday, ZIICC spokesperson, Reverend Andrew Wutawunashe said as servants of God, they will never call on people to revive old grudges or wounds.

His sentiments follow the publication of a pastoral letter titled “The March is not ended” by the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference, which also received support from the Zimbabwe Council of Churches.

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The pastoral letter also resonates with the country’s opposition parties’ efforts to roll-out demonstrations so as to subvert the will of the people as expressed in the 2018 elections.

“We take strong exception to and categorically dissociate ourselves from calls by certain religious leaders to march against the Government and to reignite conflicts and wounds of the past to heal us, from which God answered our prayers by bringing political leaders to the negotiating table where reconciliation was achieved.

“Please do not reverse the good that God had done. Our response as God’s servants should not be to call people to revive old grudges, but rather to urge people to go forward in peace”.

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ZIICC also called on Zimbabweans to reject irresponsible calls to protests and needless boycotts that are aimed at provoking violence and damaging the country’s economic revival efforts. “Since 2018 elections and even before, Zimbabweans have been held at ransom and forced to drink from a poisoned chalice of lethal and adversarial politics whose sole agenda is that the opposition may govern, regardless of the democratic outcome of electoral and legal processes, both of which they participated in. To this end, a relentless propaganda war bent on painting a picture of the Government as intolerant, corrupt and violating human rights with no regard to the rule of law, continues to be pursued- a picture that has relentlessly been played to the gallery of the international community with the intent of persuading them to maintain the economic sanctions which have brought untold suffering to the poor people of this nation,” he said.

Since losing the 2018 elections, the country’s opposition parties, working with fugitive former G40 politicians, have vowed to sabotage the Second Republic economic recovery efforts through rolling out demonstrations.

ZIICC’s patron, Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi said this is not the time to apportion blame, but to come together as the church, as a people, nation and Zimbabwe to make the country great again.

“As true shepherds, let us encourage our sheep to be productive rather than destructive. Right from the beginning, God urged man to be productive. Good shepherds should therefore urge their sheep to work towards building our country.

“Isn’t it a shame that Zimbabwe with all the abundant and fertile land that it has, is spending US$40 million a month to import food when in the 1980s it had enough maize to feed itself for three years even if there was drought and had enough grain to last eight years? Good shepherds should advocate for positive and constructive discourse than judgement,” said Bishop Mutendi.

“These tactics have also, from the outset, involved extreme provocation of the elected Government to goad it into reactions that would, if succumbed to, serve to justify the false picture being painted,” said Rev Wutawunashe.

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Notwithstanding the oppositional forces, working in cahoots with foreign elements, attempts to derail the country’s inevitable march to prosperity, the  indigenous churches hailed Government’s vigorous efforts to protect the nation from the Covid-19 pandemic, the reconstruction of roads, the aggressive empowerment of the agricultural sector, efforts towards a new political culture of peace and unity in diversity, persistent efforts towards international re-engagement as well as measures to fight economic hardships.

“Clear effort has been made, at best to distract attention from the sterling, diligent and very visible efforts to develop and take the nation forward which the Government has been pursuing, or at worst, to sabotage these efforts,” he said.

Rev Wutawunashe said the church is alarmed by the reckless dearth of sincerity and basic patriotism among some Zimbabweans who are pitting Zimbabweans against the Government through deliberate disinformation campaigns.

“The people of Zimbabwe deserve better from their political leaders rather than this ruthless and cynical adversarial politics. This kind of politics is reminiscent of the proverbial ‘genius’ who sits on a high branch while applying a determined hacksaw on the portion between himself and the tree trunk,” said Rev Wutawunashe.

ZICC’s patron, Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi said this is not the time to apportion blame, but to come together as the church, as a people, nation and Zimbabwe to make the country great again.

“As true shepherds, let us encourage our sheep to be productive rather than destructive. Right from the beginning, God urged man to be productive. Good shepherds should therefore urge their sheep to work towards building our country.

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“Isn’t it a shame that Zimbabwe with all the abundant and fertile land that it has, is spending US$40 million a month to import food when in the 1980s it had enough maize to feed itself for three years even if there was drought and had enough grain to last eight years. Good shepherds should advocate for positive and constructive discourse than judgement.”_The Herald

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