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Churches urge peace, justice


THE Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) has called on Christians to pray for justice and peace as the country’s apex court began sitting yesterday to decide on a petition by the MDC Alliance, challenging the July 30 presidential election results.


The ZCC also noted the urgent need for the country to engage in an inclusive dialogue to heal pre and post-election wounds to ensure peace and unity following the disputed polls despite whatever will be the outcome of the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) challenge by MDC Alliance presidential aspirant Nelson Chamisa.

At least seven people were killed when the army opened fire during post-election related protests in the capital, Harare on August 1.

The MDC Alliance has disputed the outcome of the election, citing vote fraud, among other irregularities.

ZCC, in a pastoral pronouncement with regards to the ConCourt petition, said violence was not an option while calling on political parties to call for restraint among their supporters and allow dialogue after resolution of the court case.

“We encourage Christians to prayerfully participate in and contribute to peaceful dialogue and engagement around this consequential part of the 2018 harmonised elections, even while respecting the ConCourt judgment.

“We, therefore, appeal to political parties, individual citizens, State and non-State actors to respect the decision that the ConCourt will make, even if that decision is not in their favour.

“In particular, we ask our political leaders to remind members that nation-building dialogue and not partisan violence is the best response to the ConCourt’s decision,” the ZCC said yesterday.

War veterans on Tuesday made subtle threats against the opposition over charges that the latter had invited United States sanctions over rights abuses.

According to the ZCC, this was a sign that Zimbabwe requires national post-elections healing

“The ZCC believes in Zimbabwe’s ability to become a nation at peace with itself, where political leaders transcend partisan divisions to unite in pursuit of the nation’s best interests. We, therefore, call upon all political leaders to remain committed to national unity,” ZCC said.

“First, the nation needs to come together to heal broken relationships in our families, communities, political parties and at national level. If we do not truthfully engage regarding all past injustices, present dissatisfactions, and a common vision for the future, we will remain a fragmented society at war with itself and without friends in the world.”

ZCC added: “Third, the nation will need to deliberate and agree on a shared national economic vision that is inclusive, pro-poor, equitable and that does not compromise the environment or the heritage of future generations.”

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