Aug 23: Churches seek divine intervention

ZCCC secretary-general, Wilfred Dimingu, said the clergy had a duty to champion peace.

The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) is holding provincial prayer sessions under the hashtag #iprayivote to pray for peace to prevail before, during and after the elections.

Last week, the ZCC was at the Dutch Reformed Church in Kadoma at an event attended by various denominations.

It was the ninth ZCC provincial prayer meeting where the clergy emphasised the need for peace and tolerance among political parties and their supporters.

ZCCC secretary-general, Wilfred Dimingu, said the clergy had a duty to champion peace.

“We need to preach the gospel of peace, unity and cohesion for nation building,” Dimungu said.

“We need to commit our country to the Lord.”

Zhuwawu Mollene representing the Independent African Church in Kadoma said the country needs a break from disputed elections.

“We are happy that we have gathered here to pray for our nation and we know that God has already listened to our prayers as we do not want any blood shed during this year’s elections." said Zhuwawu.

Zimbabwe has a history of violent elections, the worst being in 2008 ahead of a run-off election pitting the late former president Robert Mugabe and MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, also late.

Tsvangirai boycotted the election citing unprecedented violence that left over 200 of his party supporters dead, hundreds of others displaced and injured.

Last year, there were pockets of political violence ahead of the March by-elections.

A Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) supporter, Mboneni Ncube, was speared to death ahead of the by-elections.

Human rights groups have also recorded cases of political violence ahead of the August 23 elections.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has pledged to ensure peace prevails, but critics question his sincerity after some activists from his Zanu PF party were named in cases of political violence.

Beaven Malizane from the Anglican Church (Good Shepherd) said political parties had a duty to reign in their errant supporters.

“We need peace, our country needs peace and as churches, we need to plant the seed of peace towards our elections,” Malizane said.

Emmanuel Tsanangura of RCZ Chinhoyi said: “Peace is in agreement with God's nature and he is seen in the Bible seeking a dialogue even when he was wronged and as we pray, we are calling for God’s intervention as we head towards the elections.”

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