Churches Condemn Violence As 2023 Elections Loom

The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) last Friday condemned acts of violence in the upcoming general elections next year.

The condemnation comes after previous scenarios where political violence affected electoral processes between the main opposition and the ruling party.

In the just ended by elections campaign, which were held in February,  advocate Nelson Chamisa the leader of the main opposition alleged that Zanu Pf supporters attacked his party supporters when they held their campaign in President Emerson Mnangagwa’s hometown, Kwekwe.

Furthermore, a day after Chamisa’s supporters were attacked in Kwekwe, Mnangagwa’s deputy Constantino Chiwenga, who led the military in 2017 to force Robert Mugabe to step down, had told Zanu Pf supporters that his party would not allow Chamisa to win state power in general elections next year.

He insisted Zanu Pf was ready to “crush the party (CCC) like ice.” and referred to Chamisa as “Little Goliath”.

But addressing journalists after the ZCC general assembly meeting, General Secretary of ZCC Dr. Kenneth Mutata said the church was praying against any “spilling of blood in the upcoming general elections”.

“The general assembly from the prayers in the morning had an opening service where these agreements were made that we want to pray against violence. It was a strong message that came from our service from our keynote address, and also from the deliberations of the church leaders, so we are taking a position against any form of violence and spilling of blood in the upcoming elections,” he said.

Dr. Mutata also urged different stakeholders to unite so that they address the current economic meltdown in the country.

“Yes, there was also a session to pray for the country’s economy. We have also deliberated here on the need for meaningful engagement to resolve the economic crisis, and the call to all Zimbabweans to find common ground on how we should address the economy. The church believes that it’s not possible to find a solution to the current economic challenges without Zimbabweans putting their heads together,” he added.

Towards the 2018 general elections, Reverend Mutata said the church was supposed to prevent political violence, because they host about 80 percent of the country’s population.

ZCC which was found in 1964, is a member of the World Council of Churches (WCC), and is estimated to be made up of 30 Christian denominations and 10 para church organizations with an estimated reach of 3 million people in Zimbabwe.

A Journalist, writer and photographer

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