HomeNewsChurches condemn politically-motivated violence

Churches condemn politically-motivated violence

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CHURCHES have roundly condemned politically-motivated violence that is rearing its ugly head at many political meetings and called for peace and tolerance ahead of next year’s elections.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

Shingi Munyeza
Shingi Munyeza

Several Zanu PF members were left nursing injuries after bloody factional clashes in Bulawayo on Sunday. A number of other cases of politically-motivated violence have also been recorded at various other gatherings across the country.

Church organisations yesterday implored political parties to desist from using violence as a tool to cow others. They said violence could poison the political environment in the run-up to next year’s polls.

Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe president and Zimbabwe Head of Christian Denominations vice-chair Shingi Munyeza said they were running under the theme “To prevent violently contested 2018 harmonised elections and beyond, what seeks to promote tolerance.”
He said churches were looking at fundamentals that cause violence in an election in Zimbabwe.

“One of those is political intolerance and we are talking about political intolerance in two aspects and one of them is the intra-party political intolerance in all our political parties and inter-party political intolerance,” Munyeza said.

“We are, therefore, going around the country urging all political players as well as members of society that it is a matchstick that burns the whole forest. We don’t tolerate the intolerance of our political differences.”

He added: “We must live together in our differences, we must contest peacefully because we want to see development and progress in our country.”

Zimbabwe Divine Destiny leader Anceliomo Magaya said if not dealt with now, political violence could easily get out of hand.

“We have always condemned violence for what it is — it is destructive and a clear indication of non-tolerance. We have made it very clear that one major source of violence is really Zanu PF,” he said.

Magaya said even perpetrators of violence could easily become victims, saying as the church they would not endorse any violent candidate.

Fierce Zanu PF critic, Patrick Mugadza, said the country could be in bigger problems owing to the ruling party’s alleged violent behaviour.

“If they fight amongst themselves, imagine what will happen when they go for other parties. There will be more trouble,” Mugadza said.

“The people of Zimbabwe should be very vigilant and stand against violence. Some people are so happy that Zanu PF members are fighting against one another, but violence by its nature is bad.”

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