By Wallace Mawire
The Zimbabwe Amalgamated Council of Churches (ZACC) under the patronage of Jimayi Muduvuri says that it is deeply concerned with the recent violent skirmishes which erupted in the city of Harare following the peaceful 2018 harmonised elections and plans to hold a gathering to bring all Zimbabweans together to pray for peace and development in the country, according to Bishop Obert Matsveru.
ZACC is a council of different Christian denominations in Zimbabwe who are headed by bishops in the country’s 10 provinces. The Bishops recently gathered in Harare to present their views following the outcome of the 2018 harmonised elections which they said were free, fair and credible.
The Bishops also highlighted that they participated in observing the elections under the banner of the ZACC coalition. They however, indicated their concern over the violence which left at least six people dead following demonstrations on the streets of Harare blamed on the opposition MDC-Alliance supporters.
The Bishops’ coalition also told PAV that they sent a delegation to mourn with the families of the affected victims. They also said that they consoled and offered kind support to the families of the affected.
Bishop Matsveru said that ZACC was now on a mission to pray for peace and call for God’s intervention in Zimbabwe for the country to chart a new way forward and to create a peaceful and conducive new political environment for all citizens to progress with their lives.
He said that the church members under the ZACC coalition have been praying for peace before, during and after the 2018 elections.
The church also indicated that it was concerned when some political players who participated in the 2018 harmonised elections proclaimed that they had won the elections before the Zimbabwe Elections Commission (ZEC), the body with the constitutional mandate to do so had not finished their work. The church also indicated that this resulted in the deaths of civilians on the streets of Harare.
Reverend Barnabas Munongwa of the ZACC coalition said that after the elections, the church was praying for peace and strongly condemned any forms of violence and bloodshed in the country.
“As Christians, we are strongly advocating for dialogue and respect of the law and adherence to the constitution and all parties in the country,” he said.
He also added that aggrieved parties were called upon to follow proper appeal procedures than taking to the streets to demonstrate.
Jimayi Muduvuri, Patron of the ZACC said that the violence which erupted in Harare which saw the military being deployed was very worrisome. Muduvuri called on parties to accept defeat when they have lost and not to incite violence.
“We are now praying for the economy , government and the nation to move forward. The past violence was an embarrassment to the whole nation after the peaceful election we had seen this year,’ Muduvuri said.
Bishop Albert Chikuni said that there was need for more focus on peace and development. He said that the church was now praying for progress rather than division in the country.