HARARE Catholic Archbishop Robert Ndlovu has urged church members to shun political violence, saying no politician was worth fighting or dying for.
REPORT BY STAFF REPORTER
Ndlovu made the remarks on Sunday while addressing Catholic Church members during a confirmation ceremony at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in the capital.
“We are now going for elections and I know some of you (Catholics) are active in politics and are even taking part in political violence that has been bedevilling the country all the time we have elections,” Ndlovu said.
“I encourage you to exercise your rights to vote, but after casting your vote, I would urge you to go back straight home, enjoy sadza with your family and refrain from partaking in political violence.”
Ndlovu is president of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference and a member of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference — some of the leading religious institutions renowned for denouncing political violence over the past decade.
Another Catholic institution which has played an active role in condemning violence is the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace.
“When you read the Bible, you find that every time Jesus said ‘peace be with you’. Even when He appeared to His disciples after His resurrection, Jesus said the same words.
Therefore, it is our duty as Christians to practise love and peace. We should not beat each other because of political differences. We are working for the heavenly kingdom and there is no earthly leader worth fighting for,” Ndlovu said.
“One of the members of this church actually approached me one Sunday after the service and was not shy to say ‘we have finished doing things of heaven and now I have to go to work for earthly things’ (meaning political issues)”.
Since the formation of the MDC in 1999, Zimbabwe’s successive elections since 2000 have been marred by political violence.