Catholics call for poll probe

HARARE - Catholic bishops have said the “fairness of the (electoral) process is in dispute”, calling for problems and irregularities to be fully investigated by responsible authorities.

Father Frederick Chiromba, secretary-general of the Catholic bishops’ conference, said the “problems and irregularities that were experienced must be investigated by the appropriate” legal authorities and will “provide lessons for future elections”.

Noting that many previous elections in Zimbabwe “have been marred by violence,” Fr Chiromba said it is significant that “this time there was no overt violence”.

“The fact that the elections were rushed may have compromised their credibility,” he added.

Mugabe announced the election date on June 12.

Last Saturday Robert Mugabe was declared the winner, giving him a seventh term as president. He reportedly gained 61 per cent of the vote. MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, meanwhile, has accused Mugabe’s party of vote-rigging.

Bishop Alexio Churu Muchabaiwa of Mutare, chairman of the national Catholic justice and peace commission, said that the polls “were very peaceful compared to the 2008 elections”, which were marred by violence and intimidation.

“But there was intimidation this time around, too,” he said, particularly in rural areas, traditionally strongholds of Mugabe’s party.

The commission and the Inter-Regional Meeting of Bishops of Southern Africa said that they recorded 47 incidents of poll irregularities in the elections.

Bishop Muchabaiwa told a press conference that the Catholic Church was concerned that a significant number of voters could not find their names on the voters’ roll.

“There are more incidents that are yet to be verified,” he said.

The Church “strongly encouraged people to participate” in these elections, Fr Chiromba said, noting that, in a pastoral letter earlier this year, the bishops said this election would be as important in determining the country’s destiny as the 1980 vote that led to independence from Great Britain.

“We are hopeful that a rehabilitated country will bring back those who left Zimbabwe as economic refugees,” Fr Chiromba said.

“There are too few jobs at present to entice many among Zimbabwe’s Diaspora to return home yet,” he said.
Bishop Muchabaiwa said that Zimbabwe’s high unemployment rate and levels of corruption were among the Catholic church’s major concerns.

Zimbabwe is still reliant on food aid, he said, noting that there are insufficient local corn supplies this year.

“Although the supermarkets are fully stocked, many people can’t afford to buy the food they need to feed their families,” he said.

Comments (17)

Man of cloth you are very right. However, I feel sorry for you because after giving us your view of the elections, you are going to be demonised, threatened, and castigated for your opinion. The same crime Morgan Tsvangirai committed of daring to introduce a different order in the Zim system. Guard your personal lives because vultures will want to expose and discredit you.

Bambo - 6 August 2013

Men of Cloth have no business in politics. They should concerntrate on ensuring that there is peace love and harmony in man's soul.

Hlongwane Spinach - 6 August 2013

Mr. Editor - Is sum one from ZPF or C10 monitoring all these stories and jumping in with Morgan slander as soon as they are posted.

Thomas Joerem - 6 August 2013

These catholic faithfuls are jus airing their personal views not that of the catholic church as a whole. i am a catholic and wat i saw was a free, fair and credible election.

bruce - 6 August 2013

INTIMIDATION is VIOLENCE ZIMBABWEANS. WHY THREATEN PEOPLE WITH VIOLENCE IF THEY DO NOT VOTE FOR YOUR PARTY. LOOK HERE WHY WHERE PEOPLE REGISTERED IN VILLAGE VOTER'S ROLLS AGAINST THEIR WILL AND WHY REMOVE OTHERS AND WHY REFUSE OTHERS TO REGISTER AND WHY BUS PEOPLE ALL OVER THE COUNTY OUT OF THEIR PLACES AND WHY THREATEN PEOPLE. SHAME ON YOU PARTICIPANTS. VOSE VANOCHOKUITA NEIZVI REPENT. DAI SATANI ACHINGOKUTORAYI KUHUMAMBO HWAKE. CONCOURT THIS ELECTION VIOLATED OUR FREEDOM OF CHOICE AS MOST OF US VOTED AGAINST OUR OWN WILL. COURTS, ZEC, REGISTRAR GENERAL AND ZANU PF SUPPORTERS "ITYAI MWARI MUVEVANGWARU." THERE IS NOTHING SPECIAL ABOUT ZANU PF LEADER WHO YOU THINK SHOULD WIN AT ALL COSTS. GOD CREATED ZIMBABWE NOT ZANU PF. WE ARE ALL EQUAL IN FRONT OF THE LORD GOD. ELECTIONS SHOULD BE CONDUCTED FAIRLY AND SQUARELY WITH GOD'S BLESSINGS SO THAT ZIM WILL BE BLESSED. REPENT REPENT PEOPLE. PEACE PEACE PEACE NO NO NO TO TARGETED KILLINGS. GOD PROTECT US.

BLOOD OF CHRIST - 6 August 2013

ndatenda vana vamwari nekuti maonawo zvatiri kuona kwete mamwe mapofu asingaone imi maona vamwe wose vakabatwa nedima. asi ini shoko rangu ngerekuti gore rino pakakasaitwa mari-run gore rino hakudyiwe rinopisa munyikaino.tiudzireiwo bofu rinozi madhuku kuti hapana wayfoward kana pasina new election gore rino.uye tizoda kuti munhu vese anechitupa avote nechitupa chake hatidi zveregistration so longo unechitupa and ZEC MUST BE disbanded with the immediate effect we machurch imi ndimi muchawerenga voti kana vamwe vanhu vedzimwe nyika kwete vanhu vanokara mari samakarau kudarika upenyu hwevanhu ne magenerations achauya anenge achingochema neve makarau tikakubata tikamutocha anotiudza chaiizvo izvo zvaiitika

dofo - 6 August 2013

True man of the cloth like these catholics are calling a spade by its name not to call it a BIG SPOON ,INJUSTICE has no future ,PRAYER will conqure at the end ,in SOUTH AFRICA this injustice was being done by whites through apartheid ,PRAYER & resiliance by the people conqured so my brothers & sisters this crisis we have will be defeated by prayer because GOD has no political party he is for every one .In your prayers ask for guidance he will show us the light .Those who say man of the cloth do not have to comment were there is injustice are 100% wrong, it is their business,To my fellow brothers in PUBS & SHEBEENS before you drink you drinks pray against injustice we know one day you will come to church.THESE MAN OF THE CLOTH ARE UNLIKE BISHOP KUNONGA the pro ZANU PF unjust ,disgrace man to walk on earth

CASHTALK - 6 August 2013

Rome is the mark of the beast-the biblical 666. What can they say-they killed Jesus Christ and even fought HIM Selassie I. But... Remember how Menelik II defeated them. I n I shall witness the day that Roman Babylon shall fall and rise not all. Jah Rastafari!!! Leave the President be cause we the masses voted for him. Satan from Rome you Catholics are that is why you glorify Mary instead of Jesus, what a shame.

Blacka Dread - 6 August 2013

The Catholic Bishops have always peddled a Regime Change Agenda. They Preach Politics of change in their Church. Just check also whose Posters were pasted at the Durawalls of their Churches MDC-T. And now they want to be treated with Kid Gloves. Sorry Baba Chiromba you a a sell out together wit your Sinod of Bishops. Outright sellouts. Now that you have decided to clothe yourself with Political Gloves , we will clobber you together with your other sellouts. Maguta kunyarwa.

Mutambanengwe - 6 August 2013

Ma Catholics hamuazivi here? Vana Pius Ncube and the like. Maybe varikuchemera Hungochani hwanga hwakuunzwa ne MDC-T. Manje ne Zanu PF ngochani hamulume!!!!!!!!!!

madhaka - 7 August 2013

Chiromba was living in Rome clearly. What rushed elections? President Mugabe was calling for elections since 2011, even demanding them under the old constitution. CBC must have joined the heads in the sand brigade or the bandwagon of false prophets. Never mind these Catholic leaders, who are yet to tune into the New POOR Church under Pope Francis. The Pope is certain to remind them of the focus they should have. And by the way, what is the life style of these Church leaders? Maybe we should invite the Pope to our inauguration, after all, we did attend his in the form of our President.

Papa Franco - 7 August 2013

Tsvangirai Leave Zimbabwe and go get guns for us than wasting time going to chidyausiku court. that case will last another 5years before it's finalised. we need to fight for our own freedom from Mugabe. it's TIME. Ke nako. yasvoka Nguva.

Danga Remombe - 7 August 2013

The Catholic Bishops are saying exactly what the majority of Zimbabweans are feeling. If ZPF won fairly without rigging the elections, why have they not celebrated? The truth will soon come out. Corruption at the highest level will be exposed.

tomasi tohwi - 7 August 2013

Thats the reason why many Catholic believers absconded and followed likes of UFIC, RCZ etc, because instead of preaching powerful word of God, they are busy participating in politics. That's why they commit adultery with nuns. Homos and lesbians get away. As church be Apolitical

Puuuuu MDC - 7 August 2013

Interesting observation from the Nation's moral campass. Perhaps while the polticians iron out their difference, we have to be thankful they did not burn our huts and break our bones..people should remember that after a funeral those remaining must do their utmost best to keep the family moving..no? Something appears to be amiss in the world, look at Egypt, people who were suffering under a dictatorship for years heaved a sigh of relief when he walked into the sunset now after the election where they chose who they wanted, he is in prison and the crisis has assumed a new proportion. How can someone who the people AGREE they chose be treated like a fugitive. Kudos to the AU for refusing to accept the nonsense happening in Egypt, either you are for democracy or you are not period and the army should do the honorable thing, release Morsi and go back to their barracks ..if after his term they call for an election or use parliament to pass a motion of no confidence in his leadership, period. You can not have people who no one chose calling the shots and pretend in the same breath claim they are doing what the people want.

gutter poet - 7 August 2013

If everything is as should be in the land why is that there are downcast faces everywhere..why are people so shell shocked and unhappy, even the sky is in mourning too, what would be the reason for this low temperature all round???

gutter poet - 7 August 2013

When politicians go to the churches wearing garments it's ayobaaaaa when the same churchmen then comment abt what they saw it's "not rightttttttttt". they shld remain silent neee

Independent Observer - 7 August 2013

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