Religious leaders slam violence


ZIMBABWE Heads of Christian Denominations have expressed concern at the continued prevalence of violence and conflict in all aspects of life in the country.


In their latest pastoral letter to share their thoughts and reflections based on a mapping exercise held last month, the religious leaders said violence continued to show itself in many facets.

“Violence (physical, emotional and structural) and conflict have existed and are still in existence not just between the State and its people, but between people themselves,” reads the pastoral letter.

“Such violence has not only taken place just for political reasons, but for many others, such as the clash between traditional leadership and elected leadership, between men and women (gender-based violence), between the younger and older generations whose rights have been violated for too long without recourse.”

In a veiled attack on the government, the religious leaders deplored the conduct of the police and lack of preparedness for natural disasters.

They said conflicts that were identified were around minority domination of politics and the economy; anomy and deviant behaviour of the police service towards public transport operators which in turn had led to loss of life, accidents and injuries to the public.

The religious leaders said there was declining quality of service delivery and lack of preparedness of civil and State organs in managing national disasters like the recent Tokwe-Mukorsi flood disaster.

The religious leaders, comprising the  Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference, Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Council of Churches, appealed to all people to make every effort to live peacefully with one another as peacemakers and children of God.