Church must speak truth to power

HARARE - We have observed with keen interest political parties turning churches into new political battlefields.

And we hope that the battle for hearts and minds in the house of God will result in a free and fair election that is devoid of violence.

While it is no crime for any political party to canvass for support from any constituency, churches should be wary of politicians whose hands drip with the blood of innocent Zimbabweans. We urge churches to pray for these lost souls.

Hardly a week passes without one of our major political parties targeting the church, something that is likely to gain momentum as the country hurtles towards crucial polls which are due by July if the Constitutional Court ruling is anything to go by.

Zanu PF has rolled out an intensive campaign that has seen party heavyweights such as Didymus Mutasa, Savior Kasukuwere and deputy president Joice Mujuru hobnobbing with church leaders.

Perhaps dazed by political power, patronage and promises of a better tomorrow if Zanu PF wins in the winner-take-all elections; church leaders such as Johannes Ndanga have been going overboard, claiming that Mugabe has a divine mandate to rule forever. What balderdash!

Is there any method to this madness?

We are all too aware that Zanu PF has dished out stands to church leaders, who are, because of the material gains accrued, now willing appendages of the former ruling party which is seeking to hang on to power by hook or crook.

To church leaders, we say, Zanu PF needs prayers of redemption more than they need your votes. The evidence is there for all to see, from the Gukurahundi atrocities of the 1980s which President Robert Mugabe is frantically trying to whitewash elsewhere in this edition; the demolition of people’s homes at the height of the 2005 winter in a brutal army-led campaign dubbed “Operation Murambatsvina”. These sins and the 2008 atrocities where 200 lost their lives need atonement.

Perhaps the church forgets too soon.

So much blood was spilled by the same politicians now making a beeline and pretending to be saints.

These are vultures that thrive on self-aggrandisement, corruption and other egregious vice.

Church leaders, whenever they host politicians, should have the guts to spit it out and demand respect for human rights and dignity instead of being dazed to the point of idiocy.

The church should stand for what is right and be the sanctuary for healing wounds of thousands of Zimbabweans who have been victims of the vicious political cycle of violence since independence in 1980. - Staff Writer

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