ED pleads with parties to stop political violence

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday made a passionate plea to political players to sober up and desist from violent tendencies ahead of this year’s harmonised election, while on the other hand church leaders warmed up to his candidature, describing him as the best foot forward.

BY OBEY MANAYITI

The church leaders, who seemed to have been charmed by Mnangagwa, also disputed the widely held notion that the country was under military rule following its role in removing former President Robert Mugabe.
Addressing different church organisations in Harare, Mnangagwa said violence was ungodly and there was no need to shed blood over elections.

Zimbabwean elections have a history of both inter and intra-party violence. Zanu PF has been accused of perpetrating violence against opposition supporters.

“As we approach the harmonised elections later this year, I urge the church to reach out to all its congregants with this message, of peace, love and unity,” Mnangagwa said.

“I will soon be meeting with my fellow leaders of political parties in Zimbabwe including the young (Nelson) Chamisa to drum up the same message that all of us, as leaders from respective political parties, must actively shun violence, but rather exercise tolerance. I repeat – there is no need for violence. This is a new era,” he said.
He said in the event of disagreements, violence must not be used to settle matters. “While there may be some disagreements between us, we should never allow our political discourse to turn poisonous. As voters, we must reward those who seek dialogue and treat opponents with respect,” he said.

Mnangagwa urged the churches to continue to provide public services such as schools, vocational training centres, business incubation centres, hospitals, clinics and orphanages across the country.

The churches demanded an urgent review of the school curriculum, saying they were against most issues introduced by former Education minister Lazarus Dokora.
They also appealed for access to land for church projects while others demanded return of their land compulsorily acquired by government during the fast-track land reform programme.

Mnangagwa promised to look into their demands, claiming the country was open for business in a Christian and honest way.

Among their demands, the churches want the school curriculum to be reviewed saying there were many things that they didn’t like which were introduced by Dokora. They said they made concerted efforts, including approaching Mugabe, Dokora and Parliament to have the curriculum dropped.

The churches also appealed to have access to land for church projects and to have recognition to the extent of having a political minister of religion and have seats in Parliament. Churches also applauded Mnangagwa and his deputy, Constantino Chiwenga, for ushering in a peaceful transition that disposed Mugabe.

Mnangagwa promised to look into their demands.

Various church leaders stampeded to endorse Mnangagwa’s candidature in the forthcoming presidential elections, with Zion Christian Church leader Nehemiah Mutendi describing him as a mature politician.

“We will pledge on behalf of the bishops, we will advise our members and we will tell the truth that this is the person we must support. Let’s give him the opportunity. As churches we are shepherds and we will tell our congregants to support you,” he said.

Mutendi said it was wrong to claim that the country was under military rule saying it was in the hands of mature former soldiers who were able to deliver.
Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe leader Johannes Ndanga equated Mnangagwa to the biblical Joshua.

“Moses never took the children of Israel to Canaan but Joshua did. Mugabe was not allowed to take the children of God to Canaan but Mnangagwa will do,” he said.
But human rights activists condemned the church leaders move.

Human Rights Watch Southern Africa director Dewa Mavinga said by endorsing Mnangagwa church leaders were promoting polarization and partisan politics.

“The Church and church leaders must always be non-partisan, always being the moral conscience of society speaking truth to power. What church leaders did, to endorse the Zanu PF presidential candidate ED, is both shameful and unacceptable. These church leaders are promoting polarisation and partisan politics when their churches have people from all walks of life and diverse political backgrounds. Is the ZION Church only for Zanu PF members? Church leaders must promote multi-party democracy and plurality, and desist from peddling a misguided one-party doctrine,” he said

Human rights activist Patson Dzamara said: “Inasmuch as I subscribe to the notion that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future, this development is worrying. For starters, Mnangagwa still has a long journey to sainthood. Indeed, the church is the salt of the earth and, of course, it must be involved in the governance process. It must stand for these pillars among other things justice, love, peace, and good governance. As far as Mnangagwa’s government is concerned, it certainly falls short in satisfying these pillars. How the church, therefore, chooses to endorse such a government is definitely morally and spiritually wrong. What the church should be doing is lobbying and the government uphold such pillars.”

Political commentator Rejoice Ngwenya said: “Voting is a personal choice. No-one can and should be told who to vote for. Endorsing is populist necessity, but not a determinant factor.”

9 Comments

  1. tendai chaminuka

    This must be the promised land.Ruling party crying for peace whilst the main opposition with its Bullet Train President is busy shedding blood.Surely maturity counts coz if the Bullet Train President can not contain a mere political party ko akazoita State President we will go the DRC way in which some parts of the country will be ungovernable.Zvinotyisa.Sure #EDHASMYVOTE

    1. Wavhunzwa nani?

    2. Karikoga Gumi remitemo

      Tendayi vhotera ED wako wakanyarara usiyane na Chamisa.We condemn the violence in strongest terms and perpetrators must be brought to book, including those who killed Tonderayi Ndira and others during the 2008 harmonised elections.You cannot speak of containing a political party yet your ED has failed to stem corruption and cash shortages. Most national roads are death traps and it does not need one to have 100 days in office to patch up crater like pot holes.Under ED’s stewardship we have seen untouchables like Obert Mpofu disobeying our Parly and has got ED’s blessings hence he will go scot free and the looting continues.We also know of one former VP who owns more than 800 gold mines and life goes on. So while we condemn violence, we must also condemn
      everything that goes against humanity

      1. how can you fix the roads when there are heavy rains?

  2. Kid,silly did heavy rains started today? Why are you Zanus very poor in memory and so visionless? You don’t have heart and mind thats why you are keeping on supporting your destructive cabals-witches.

  3. @Tendai
    unopenga iwe. ita zvemhondi yako wega. why forcing us to like him. an illegitimate leader and assassin since 1980. ED imhondi iyo.

  4. Only a very naive person can think that Zanu PF can change.
    We need to unite and kick this illicit and murderous regime headed by a man with blood on his hands -ED into oblivion. We can not expect this old bunch of crooks to change.

  5. The Church has lost relevancy. The churches sighted here are the same churches who were rooting at Grace Mugabe rallys and asked to give thanks to God after pronouncing “Down with so & so” by politicians. These churches are pushing people into a collective sin before God.
    God intended to make a model nation and an example that we should follow (Deut 4:6). God fully intends that our nations learn how to become great. and that they discover how “to prosper … and be in health” (3Jn 2), which is why He has recorded His method of nation building in the Bible. The Civil laws God gave were designed to create an enlightened and humanitarian society (see Ex 21-22). God’s process of nation building began by establishing a right religious foundation. History has shown that when religious foundation of a nation erodes, or falls into error, the nation will decline; hence, God’s laws were designed to make His nation stand out as a light and an example to the rest of the world (see Deut 4:1-8). God used the Church through Moses to deliver His people from bondage.

  6. These church leaders are telling us Moses did not take the Israelites into the promised land; but they are not telling us who Joshua was. The truth is Joshua was one of the leaders of God’s Church; so he had to take over within the ranks of the Church. The Church delivered the Israelites from bondage and not vice versa.

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