THE Zimbabwe Council of Churches yesterday pledged to work with the Ninth Parliament in promoting peace and healing in Zimbabwe as well as to strengthen the church voice in the law-making processes.
by VENERANDA LANGA
A ZCC delegation comprising Anglican diocese of Harare Bishop Chad Gandiya, ZCC general secretary Reverend Kenneth Mtata of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Bishop Regina Katsande of the Christian Marching Church, and Reverend Tichaona Chihota of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda.
“We would like to strengthen our relationship with Parliament and set up an Ecumenical Parliament Liaison office to accompany the work of Parliament,” Mtata said.
“There is already a Parliament Liaison office for the Roman Catholic and the Methodist churches as we try to bring the work of the church close to the Ninth Parliament and address specific issues as to how we can heal the nation as we support the National Peace and Reconciliation Act which Parliament enacted so that it is implemented.”
Mtata said the ZCC wanted a relationship with Parliament to the extent that church members will be in contact with their MPs, as well as distribution of The Hansard to church members so that they are aware of what happens in Parliament, as well as take part in the anti-corruption fight.
Bishop Gandiya said the ZCC will endeavour to ensure Zimbabweans live a prosperous life in peace and respect of diversity without fear so that people can celebrate justice delivery.
Mudenda encouraged the church to participate in the legislative role of Parliament as empowered by section 141 of the Constitution which gives citizens the right to give input on Bills through public hearings.
“It must be understood that there are bad laws passed by Parliament and hence you need to ask for their reform or that they are stuck off the statutes because they are bad laws and the church needs to play its oversight role,” Mudenda said.
He also urged church leaders to be exemplary, saying there was a lot of bad publicity where clergymen fought for leadership posts, and even going to see witchdoctors.
Mudenda lauded the church for supporting the country in the education, health and social justice sectors.
He said it was imperative for the ZCC to work very closely with the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference.