Suspend polls for 7 years: Churches

BY FARAI MATIASHE

THE Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD) have called for a suspension of elections for seven years to pave way for political and economic reforms under a new structure which will come from the people.

Speaking at a media briefing in Harare yesterday, ZHOCD executive secretary Kenneth Mtata said national unity was paramount to address the current political paralysis, deepening mistrust and the dehumanising economic decline.

“It is in this light that the church leaders are proposing a national seven-year Sabbath period for the purposes of establishing an emergency recovery mechanism to address the dire national situation, especially for the most vulnerable communities, rebuilding trust and confidence by healing all the hurts of the past, developing a shared national reform agenda to deepen our democracy and establishing a shared and inclusive national economic vision,” he said.

“The Sabbath proposal entails the suspension of the constitutional provision of elections, but such a deficiency will be redressed through a national referendum. The national referendum question would seek to ascertain from all Zimbabweans whether they agree with a proposal for a seven-year suspension of all political contestation for the sake of rebuilding trust and confidence by healing to all hurts of the past, sharing and executing a shared constitutional and political national reform agenda, and establishing and implementing a shared national economic vision.”

Mtata said the church leaders were not proposing any detailed government structure for the seven-year period, but such an implementation must emerge from a process of consultation of citizens at different layers of society.

“Through this Sabbath call, the church leaders are soliciting for national acceptance of the seven-year Sabbath period as a season for trust and confidence building, resetting of national politics and creating an appropriate environment for economic recovery outside party political competition,” he said.

“The assumption is that once the principle receives national acceptance through a referendum, a consultative process to design the operationalisation framework of the Sabbath season will be established through a broad-based and comprehensive national dialogue involving all levels of society.”

Mtata accused toxic political relations for rendering Zimbabwe’s efforts to international re-engagement process futile, of which international isolation inhibits investor confidence and slows down economic growth.

Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) secretary-general Frederick Chiromba earlier revealed that they had engaged MDC leader Nelson Chamisa and handed over their proposal and also met Zanu PF leader President Emmerson Mnangagwa at his Munhumutapa offices and gave him the same proposal.

In mid-September ZHOCD, which is made up of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Council of Churches, UDACIZA and ZCBC, said they had lost confidence in the economic policies that were causing the suffering of ordinary citizens.

Mnangagwa was declared the winner of the 2018 harmonised elections by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and his victory was confirmed by the Constitutional Court following a court challenge by his rival Chamisa.

The main opposition party leader has accused the Zanu PF leader of working with the electoral body to manipulate votes in his favour.

In the wake of glaring human rights abuses, international isolation and poor economic policies, the country’s economy has nose-dived as prices of basic commodities keep going up, amid incessant power cuts and water shortages in a country experiencing scarcity of drugs in hospitals.

Mnangagwa early this year called for a national dialogue with political parties that participated in the 2018 elections, but Chamisa has snubbed the dialogue calling it biased and non-inclusive.

15 Comments

  1. Is this coming from God or it is your own warped views? I don’t remember the verse that talks about postponing elections for 7 years. Why 7, why that number? Stay out of politics and save souls. That is your calling. Tired of these hypocrites and marauding scavengers.

    1. You can suggest your own number Mr Guy, mayb the church leaders as they were discussing, inspired by the Holy Spirit, they came up with the number. The number 7 is common in the Bible, and is synonymous with healing the land, Sabbatical years. The main issue is we need to find each other as Zimbabweans, set politics aside and work for the good of our country. This is what we were all hopping to do after Mugabe’s resignation. But elections had to be done in line with our constitution, unfortunately zvakadirwa jecha

  2. Mr Guy, church leaders are also supposed to help conflicted persons or parties find each other and this is what they are doing. What is wrong in the above?

  3. That is what should have happened soon after the coup but you church leaders being ZANU PF appendages you allowed the “Chinhu chedu” faction to go against the national sentiments at that time of a GNU. ED was suppose to lead the GNU deputised by the Late Tsvangirai for 10yrs without any election. We wasted an opportunity of united country because the removal of Mugabe although illegal brought rare unity. Now you are coming to prvent the collapse of ZANU PF old guard again. Unity failed because of greediness of ZANU PF old guard lets leave it like that. Unity is only possible between MDC Alliance and the ZANU PF young turkeys. Why in the first place did we go to those elections? Where were you? Icho!

  4. who z mtata by the way

  5. What church? Zanu pf’s or Mnangwagwa’s church? Did ZHOCD talk to all churches around zimbabwe? Is the only church that should be listened to catholic? Stop involving all churches around zimbabwe with this non sense!

  6. Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) secretary-general Frederick Chiromba earlier revealed that they had engaged MDC leader Nelson Chamisa and handed over their proposal and also met Zanu PF leader President Emmerson Mnangagwa at his Munhumutapa offices and gave him the same proposal…….

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  9. ApoliticalObserver 1 of millions sitting on the fence::Politics aside please allow diversity of views.there in is the uniqueness and strenghts of our nation. intolerance takes us nowhere let the churches initiative be heard and be tested against a referendum let them be the conscience of the nation as we have learnt to accept over the years. May Our Political Actors also remember that in every contest like in sports both the winner and the loser owe it to the dignity and ethos built into the game by its previous contestants and stakeholders(the church is one). Winners should win with grace and losers should take heart and remember tomorrow, The spectetors and the nation at large wants to maintain confidence, trust and encourage fairplay in the contestations. contestations All stakeholders should draw lessons from the contest and seek to improve and move on.

  10. Uri Mtata yemunhu… where were you after the Coup….?

  11. Augustine Nyamuchengwe

    I don’t see any problem with the Clergyman’s proposal.You guys might want to call them zealots or any other name,but what I see is like these men are spot on.The only problem which might arise is who is going to be the President for those sabbath years.Zimbabwe is too polarized politically,we have to find each other and stop name calling.Zimbabwe is one and as such we should live in harmony.This issue of “Animal Farm” should just stop.We are all Zimbabweans and noone is more superior to the other.Divergency of views should be tolerated and we should stop tribalism,racialism and nepotism.Whether you are black,yellow,white or red,that should not stop you to be Zimbabwean.
    Our leaders should consult their supporters and it is almost every Zimbabwean’s wish to see our country prosper.Our leaders should embrace nationalism kwete humbimbindoga.They should grab this opportunity.I the event that this initiative goes for a referendum people should shun those politician who are saying “hazviite”.Those guys are sitting pretty and have nothing to lose.They are pushing their bellies and enjoying life.

  12. No grudge, the thought is academic as a scenario! however they should have given other scenarios so that choices could be made!

  13. all animals are equal but there are more equal animals….. “Animal Farm”

  14. As if they will allow the people to have a say the People in Diaspora were not allowed

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