Churches to vote 'yes' in referendum

HARARE - Churches in Zimbabwe have resolved to endorse the new draft constitution crafted by a committee of Parliament commonly referred to as Copac and set for a referendum this weekend.

Following a series of meetings in Harare and Bulawayo, the heads of Christian denominations, a grouping of church leaders across the country, decided to vote for the adoption of the draft.

In a statement, the group said it will continue to engage political leaders in efforts to revisit areas it has misgivings on.

“While this process was characterised by many questions, challenges and controversies, it presented a milestone in the history of Zimbabwe and a unique opportunity to bring the nation together to forge a common future.

“The Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations have long held the position contained in the Zimbabwe We Want Vision document that states ‘a people-centred and people-crafted constitution is the centrepiece of governance and development’,” reads the statement.

It added that the current Lancaster House Constitution was “not inspired by the collective consent and consensus of the people of Zimbabwe.

The absence of a home-grown Constitution remains a source of dissatisfaction. Governance by consent and consensus is the key to peace, stability, social and economic development.”

The Christian leaders said they presented Copac with 24 issues and although happy that the majority of these were adopted, issues to do with homosexuality and abortion were not comprehensively dealt with in the draft.

They added that churches would seek amendments to ensure the constitution protects from conception the life and rights of the unborn child.

Pertaining to homosexuality, the church leaders are demanding that the constitution reflects that “every person shall have the right to marry and found a family, in accordance with legislation that governs civil law marriages or customary law unions. A family shall be founded by two persons of the opposite sex”.

Comments (1)

The Christian leaders said they presented Copac with 24 issues and although happy that the majority of these were adopted, issues to do with homosexuality and abortion were not comprehensively dealt with in the draft. What about the issues to do with Zimbabwe’s culture of political violence, was this dealt with comprehensively in the draft or did these Church leaders forget about the violence of 2008? Over 500 Zimbabweans lost their lives in 2008 to say nothing about the hundreds of thousands who were beaten and/or raped and all these idiots are concerned about is that two men should not share the same bed! Well Mugabe is very please they forgot because this still remains the corner stone of his election strategy. There real is nothing more disheartening than leaders leading their followers astray, in this case into a deadly Zanu PF death trap! The first one should do at the earliest possible opportunity is end the dictatorship strangle hold on media and thus have a free and vibrant print and electronic media and freedom of expression. If the people were well informed them they would not be so dependent on all these half blind and incompetent leaders like Tsvangirai or the people would follow them so blindly!

W Mukori - 14 March 2013

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