I trained Tsvangirai on peace-building: Mukonori

ROMAN Catholic priest Father Fidelis Mukonori has revealed how he trained the late former trade unionist and MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai on peace-building.

By Nhau Mangirazi

Speaking at a Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) and Silveira House workshop on creating the environment for effective coverage of the forthcoming elections, Mukonori said Tsvangirai was among several international trade unionists to pass through the Catholic Social Justice and Development Centre outside Harare.

“Many of the leading labour movement leaders, teachers and those of professional reputation passed through our hands at the centre in our efforts for peace-building. Among those that I trained are the late MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai as well as the late former Zambian President Frederick Chiluba, who wanted to use his muscle due to his short build, but we told him to think to achieve anything on peace,” he said.

“We know workers were not being handsomely paid, but the only way was through good negotiating skills.”

Mukonori took a central role and mediated between former President Robert Mugabe and the military after the launch of Operation Restore Legacy in November last year, which ushered in a new government led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The Catholic cleric said it was imperative for journalists to create a better environment for the nation through well-balanced stories that give constructive criticism.

“As journalists, it is your primary role to inform the citizens with factual news that shape the nation. Personally, I approach those in leadership to advise them where they could have made mistakes,” he said.

“Do not be afraid to tell the truth. Not everyone can be ED (President), professors or truck drivers of this world. So, as journalists, be professional in your conduct. Do away with hate language that will never build trust among your readers. We have seen many blaming Zanu PF for the mess the country is in, but everyone is involved, as we are not taking our roles. It includes citizens, politicians, everyone and you as journalists to make our country a peaceful nation.”

Various organisations such as ZUJ, Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Election Support Network and Election Resource Centre, called on the media to build peace and report professionally without taking sides ahead of elections due to in the next five months.

11 Comments

  1. For one who’s supposed to be concentrating on saving souls and emulating the humility of Jesus Christ, this priest seems to be doing a lot of secular talking of late. What’s worse is that most of his utterances are self-centred and boastful!!

    1. I agree, sounds quite pompous and self-righteous

  2. Chemical Solution

    Did you edify R G Mugabe as well?

  3. “If my death is going to cause the change that we are looking for Perhaps it’s worth it” Morgan Tsvangirai

    I think the biggest sacrifice is the loss of my wife and grandson. But I also knew that those who have died for this struggle would have wanted me to continue. To achieve the goals we set out to achieve which is dignity, prosperity and for the people of Zimbabwe.

    So yes at a personal level it was a great loss. They were moments on this long journey where I have lost an organiser. I have lost people who were desperately looking for some salvation. People coming to our head office thousands of victims of political violence.

    Those were also moments of great pain because the burden of responsibility lay with me. What do we do for all those people who were desperately looking for salvation, looking for solutions? Some of the solutions, which were not there and imminent. There were moments we were helpless. Remember that our struggle has been a peaceful struggle. It’s not an armed conflict.

    We were facing and confronting people who use violence as an instrument. And we were using nothing but the will of the people. I sort of shelved my own personal risk because I knew that they were so many people risking their lives for this democratic change. Some who had already died as a result. So I sort of suppressed my own personal fear and own personal security.

    It’s was difficult, sometimes your close ones in your family start questioning whether it’s worth it. Start questioning, “have you not done enough already?” you know. Is it worth it to go all the way to sacrifice your life? And I have responded by saying they’re people who have sacrificed anyway and that one more human being is not going to make a difference. But if my death is going to cause the change that we are looking for. Then perhaps it’s worth it.

  4. This priest sounds arrogant always boasting about himself he is the one who was defending the wicked old man and his family who caused alot of mayhem he does not seem to be defending the poor and the oppressed which he should be doing heseems to be defending the wealthy Jesus defended the poor and the lowly most of the time

  5. nonsense from the Priest.

  6. nonsense why not focus on training gay priests to repent from their wicked practises

  7. Mukonori is trying to be relevant. Why telling us now.

  8. Comment…vamukonori vanenge vari kutsvaka dzvene ava. Zvose ndivo. Ngavambotaura zvavakatadza mwari avasunungure. Kutongwa kwenyika hakusi kwevatendi asi kuti vanofanira kunamatira nyika. Ndiro basa racho. Or else he must form his own political party

  9. Did he do the same to the leadership for the 37years of oppression?

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