Churches call on Mugabe to resign

HARARE - As Zimbabwe continues on its downward spiral of the past two decades, usually circumspect church leaders are adding their voices to growing calls for President Robert Mugabe to step down, to give the country an opportunity to revive its fortunes.

In an unexpected statement yesterday, that marked a radical departure from their usual quiet diplomacy towards local politics, the country’s churches — as represented by the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) and the influential Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) among others — also said Zimbabwe deserved leaders who had the interests of the people at heart.

EFZ president and spokesperson of the churches on the matter, Shingi Munyeza, said it was important for the country’s leaders to adhere to the rule of law, get rid of political patronage and rampant factionalism, and engender “leadership renewal across the board” if Zimbabwe was to come right.

Chipping in, the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHCD), Ishmael Mukuwanda, said the church was extremely concerned by the country’s deteriorating economic conditions, characterised by a biting cash shortage, food price increases and rising unemployment.

“As the church, we represent the voice of the people, especially the poor and the marginalised. We therefore feel that we should periodically convey some of the people’s feelings to assist our leaders in government in decision-making,” he said.

Mukuwanda added that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s plans to introduce bond notes to try and mitigate the ongoing cash shortages had brought back “sad memories” of the hyperinflationary 2008 period.

“Many people who have come to church to communicate their concerns have expressed a lot of panic over the bond notes. They don’t see the difference between bond notes and the hyper-inflationary bearer cheques that were used up to 2008.

“If they are to be introduced, there should be tangible guarantees that citizens will not lose out in the process. However, more efforts and determination should be put towards revitalisation of our industries to create employment, boost exports, and to manage our fiscal expenditure to realise economic growth,” he said.

Mukuwanda said the church was also “disheartened” by rampant corruption in the country, and the government’s inaction over the missing $15 billion diamond revenue.

“This is one of many cases of the looting of our finite natural resources that is contributing towards the further impoverishment of our people. We are saddened that to date, no one has been brought to account for such cases of fraud of the highest order ever since the nation was born in 1980.

“We believe this amount would actually help this nation offset its over $10 billion debt plus interest, or better still be used to finance public investments in education, water and sanitation, revive our industrial capacity and mitigate against the El Nino-induced drought.

“We need a full audit and explanation on the $15 billion that is missing, and all culprits to be brought to book,” Mukuwanda added.

Calls from all quarters for Mugabe to step down have been getting louder by the day as fed-up, long-suffering Zimbabweans use a variety of platforms, including social media, to pan the increasingly frail nonagenarian and his ruling Zanu PF for their misrule.

Mugabe, who is the only leader that Zimbabweans have known since the country gained its independence from Britain in April 1980, is also the world’s oldest president.

Despite being a mature 92 years old, his party has since affirmed him as its presidential candidate for the eagerly-anticipated 2018 national polls — with powerful First Lady Grace Mugabe also suggesting controversially recently that he would even continue ruling the country from his grave.

Meanwhile, the MDC’s Mabvuku-Tafara Member of Parliament James Maridadi, has vowed to proceed with his mooted motion in Parliament to impeach Mugabe for his “disastrous policies” that have decimated the country’s once-promising economy, sending millions of citizens into the Diaspora.

“It is an open secret that the majority of Zimbabweans and opposition parties have been talking of the need to impeach Mugabe. I am personally one of the people who actually think ... Mugabe must be impeached and so I am going to walk the talk,” he said.

Maridadi said in addition to being too old to lead a country, recent developments had further amplified the fact that Mugabe was now “incapable of occupying his position”.

“We have cases where the president has fallen in public and went on to explain that he actually does fall many times at his home, which means he is no longer fit to rule,” he said. The Mabvuku legislator also noted that the issue of the looted $15 billion diamond revenue that has vanished without any arrests being effected was further evidence that Mugabe “must resign”.

Amid all this, Mugabe’s Zanu PF continues to be ravaged by its seemingly unstoppable factional and succession wars, that have served to worsen the country’s lot.

Only last week, restless war veterans responded with interest to a savage assault on them by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, who accused them last Thursday of engaging in “treason” by endorsing Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as Mugabe’s shoe-in successor.

In his polemic, delivered while addressing a Zanu PF Matabeleland North provincial committee meeting in Lupane, Mphoko warned the pro-Mnangagwa former liberation struggle fighters against talking about Mugabe’s succession while the nonagenarian was still on the throne.

But the secretary-general of the main faction of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association (ZNLWVA), Victor Matemadanda, had no kind words for Mphoko when he spoke to the Daily News, once again accusing the under-fire VP of having deserted Zimbabwe’s war of liberation.

“What do you think is more treasonous between saying Mnangagwa is the most senior person in the Zanla (Zanu PF military wing) ranks and deserting the war, going to Mozambique and selling guns meant for waging the liberation struggle? What is the bigger crime between saying Mnangagwa is senior and staying in a hotel for two years, refusing to stay in a $3 million house in a country where the economy is struggling?” Matemadanda asked angrily, referring to Mphoko’s continued and controversial stay in a five-star Harare hotel.

“We will not be intimidated by his misuse of the word treason. We never said Mnangagwa should take over today or tomorrow. We are simply investing in our future as Zanla and Mphoko must not interfere because we never interfere in Zipra (Zapu military wing) issues.

“He is annoyed by our discourse because he is the face of G40 and he thinks either Jonathan Moyo or (Saviour) Kasukuwere should be president. But that will never happen, unfortunately. That will not be decided by one who deserted the war.

“What is so special about him and his Mozambican wife? He must just quietly enjoy the good life that he was given by our president which he does not deserve anyway.

“He is least qualified to talk about our revolution because he was not part of its critical stages after he deserted,” Matemadanda said, adding that the only reason why they had a semblance of respect for Mphoko was because he was appointed by “our president”.

Comments (29)

what do you say about this @truth I hope you are one of a mongrel to Zanoids feel the hit of change. No matter how people try to resist change, change is irresistible only what you can do is to embrace it!

Madq - 7 June 2016

The writing is on the wall for all to see that the end is nigh for this regime that has caused untold suffering for zimbabweans. Not heading to the cry of many is only a ticking time bomb. One day when it explodes there is no one or anything to stop it.

mallorytk - 7 June 2016

Thou shalt not steal, there is an elephant in the room, the lack of trust in the economy says you rigged the election, no matter how you deny you stole it with straight faces, hell waits you.

Ethan - 7 June 2016

This would be the honorable thing to do Gabriel. For goodness sake you are 92. The revolution will continue without you noone is immortal live accept it and make peace with all those you murdered, maimed and assaulted during your time on this earth. The world is but a stage and we are nothing but actors. Don't take life so seriously Gabriel you will never I repeat you will never make it out of this world alive. Ashes to ashes dust to dust

Resign Now - 7 June 2016

Mr writer, your first paragraph mentions the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishop's Conference but doesn't quote them anywhere else in the article, where is the truth here?

Observer - 7 June 2016

stay put gushungo,only yesterday we voted yu in resoundingly to lead us untill 2018 and beyond,the likes of shingi munyeza are free to join politics and not hide behind the church banner,surely can we take an alcohol selling pastor seriously whom we ourselves as zanu pf empowered,we are fully behind yu as exhibited by the success of the million man march and shingi and company are lone voices in the wilderness,we shall not listen to the people who didnt vote yu in but to the masses that swept us into office,elections are held every five yrs and those that want to rule backdoor should return to the the electorate who are the true stockholders of the country and sell their manifestos

truth - 7 June 2016

We miss the Roman catholic of yester year, which gave us light even in the midst of tyranny. Today we see some those who benefitted selling out. If it was not of the Roma Catholic, Mugabe could have been an isolated fool by now. I urge the churches to play their part in delivering the people of Zimbabwe from Mugabe ZANU PF tyranny. We do not need prophets or prophecy, we need to confront tyranny. Time is not on our side.

Zvichapera - 7 June 2016

@truth, you need an addition to your nom de guerre to TRUE LIES at least. Eish where do you really stay, where you do not see the suffering of the generality of the population, because of Mugabe's unworkable economic policies? You must be in the gravy train of milking ZIM through corruption, like the Undenges and crew.

ZimVendorisedNation - 7 June 2016

after everye citizens are given the honour to choose who they want to rule on their behalf and the peopple choose zanu pf,those who cannot understand such a simple arrangement am sorry,it is one man one vote,ask yourself why the majority of zimbos stick with us,the answer is simple,we are people centred and we humbly submit ourselves to the electorate be he a peasant or vendor or unemployed,the MDC for its part identifies with middl;e class wannabes like @samanyika who thinks that theuy should be in power because he can use jawbreakers on the platform

truth - 7 June 2016

mugabe is not a god he should be succeeded by someone who is able to tackle our problems someone who respects the electorate and do their will.the president should never be scared no one will harm him he has good achievements accredited to him and people are grateful for that.saka baba ngavachienda succession is very normal since all leaders anoint successors in their life time what is abnormal is to refuse to be succeeded.So only God cannot be succeeded and all mortal beings should be succeeded by someone especially those whom they groom themselves like cde Mnangagwa

simba - 7 June 2016

We are slowly, but sure, getting there. Even the dumbest among us are getting the message. Inonzi zhara. That is the only whip that can wake-up the sleeping. Vanhu rudziyi vanotambwa chikukuvatavata nemhunhu one (1) for all these years ? Apa arikutitaurira kuti 15 Billion USD is missing - and he is doing nothing about it as though its 15 Billion rotten eggs without any value. He does not have an inkling for value for money because for him he simply get it from the ministry of finance when he needs it. 15 Billion USD means a totally changed Zimbabwe with virtually every system re-activated to proper functioning. When I say he has the missing money under his pillow I get accused of colonial mentality. Hard to imagine how some Zimbabweans think. Its simple: if he didn`t have it under his pillow then he could be seen making some effort to find it, at least.

Masamba Akareyo - Tanganda - 7 June 2016

The churches but especially the Roman Catholic Church is the one who actively sponsored and supported the Mugabe regime all along, right from the very beginning. To demonstrate their loyal support to this regime, a regime that has caused so much misery and suffering, they have invited President Mugabe to the Vatican on no less than three occasions? Does this make any sense to anyone? The RCC is now obviously being questioned about their morals and standards, Im one standing in line.

Mbewa - 7 June 2016

@ truthit is most unfortunate that people like are just blind followers who have no clue on how a country is run. It is such a shame that you still want to fool yourself into believing that zanu still have some supporters. How do you explain to the people that the country is missing $15bn and there is no follow up or no arrests perttaining to that issue... The truth is that ever since the introduction of MDC zanu has never defeated Tsvangson hate it or like it.

spencor - 7 June 2016

I have noticed Truth n Viola r never rude in responding to issues,.I respect that.

yuba - 7 June 2016

Tsvangirai, Mphoko, Mujuru, Jonathan, and Kasukuwere are a talk of this term. None of them will take over after Mugabe. Don't be surprised. Its a word from God, Almighty.

Divha - 8 June 2016

My goodness munhu anohi Truth is living proof of what a repressive regime can do to the weak mind. Honestly how do you glorify Zanu on the basis that he is popular with the poor peasants, vendors and unemployed, when you are the very people that impoverished those poor countrymen of ours. A growing middleclass is actually the only real proof of a growing economy there is no victory in having the masses being primarily poor peasants, vendors and unemployed. Truth, the mind of a victim is so disfunctional that the victim will heap praises on his oppressors and actually needs to be disconnected from his oppressor to eventually start thinking straight. Don';t blame you at all, you are just an unenlighted victim of this evil regime that has kept itself in power to enrich the few and impoverish the masses

Resign Now - 8 June 2016

Come one , come all, come 2018 the result of the elections will be the same .ZANU PF will continue to be the party of choice. Ana muyeza want to hide behind the church because they know that our government policy toward the church since 1980 is peaceful co- existence. Munyeza is MDc but wants to full those who don't know it by hiding.Further there is nothing in the article telling us what the Catholic Bishops have said.It just want to rope in ZCBZ just because our PRESIDENT is catholic and as such want to portray a situation as if the catholic church have also said something against the President.Come 2018 history will repeat itself that ZANU is the undisputed party of choice.

gustavoz - 8 June 2016

munhu anonzi truth anotaura chokwadi and chokwadi chinorwadza.zvakanzi torai minda machinja akati hatitori torai imi isu tichapiwa mari nema the reality is slowly sinking in that you missed out.Go and tell a person at boka trading floor right now arikutengesa fodya womuti Mugabe this or that zvamajaira kuita . wake up and smell the coffee chitima che empowerment hachisi kumirira munhu.If a company in france which manufactures agricultural equipment is here to set up a regional tractor manufacturing plant and sees that the agricultural sector in Zimbabwe has a potential to grow again, what more do you want. and excuse me,isnt france part of the eu which put sanctions against Zimbabwe? but are slowly warming up to the fact that THE LAND IS THE ECONOMY AND THE ECONOMY IS THE LAND....and remember John Deere...yes they left fifteen years ago and are now back full time. mati madii

gustavoz - 8 June 2016

Mwari basi ndiye wekutanga uye anogara kwemisi isingaperiba .Amen

wasu - 8 June 2016

Truth, Gustavoz et. al should awaken from their deep sleep and realise with Mugabe, Grace and all their goons that their days are numbered. Kana yapindirwa neveMweya kudai pashata apa. Church leaders call for a solemn fast to see the fall of this evil government. Tine nzara asi totsanyira zvine chinangwa. The first family should just stay in the diaspora next time after visiting. Truth and others can join them as they return to their home in Singapore where the $15 billion is stashed. Grace is preparing well for her kids and grandkids. Proverbs 14:28 A LARGE POPULATION IS AN HONOR FOR A KING, BUT WITHOUT PEOPLE A RULER IS RUINED. 2 KINGS 17:2 "AND MUGABE / GRACE/ZANU PF GOVT DID WHAT WAS EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD...." IRI KUUYA SHAMHU KUZOKUCHAYAI.........

Sinners in the hands of an angry God" - 8 June 2016

@yuba....your heroes @truth & @viola gwena might not respond with venom but their party is murderous, treacherous, forces citizens to vote in a particular way etc. they succeed in the rurals because a hut can be burnt easily. They're struggling in the towns & cities because we can hit back blow for blow. Check the last elections results to see how poorly their god performed in Highfield, where less than 5 000 people like him. Ko kuzoti tsuro nemandere arikutinyaudza pano?

Kclab - 8 June 2016

successful million march i think that guy Truth is blind,that march hardly pushed 200 thousand.TRUTH HURTS!

daddy - 8 June 2016

In this country we no longer should consider a president as being a former liberation fighter as this has brought us more misery than good. This lot has threatened the population and stolen the wealth of this country and yet we still consider that as a valid qualification; times have changed and we must move on. After all they are now too old and we must not make the same mistake. As for these Matematandas and Mphokos, they are all tribalists and deserved to be ignored by all progressive people of this country, they are serving their interests and cannot hold us to ransom anymore. The Church must pray ardently and God always replies to His people.

Mendeka - 9 June 2016

what i have noticed is that zimbos are good at complaining and talking pama media platform but action hapana. true freedom comes at a price but so far noone is willing to pay that price. kusuffer hakuperi as long as vanhu vachirikutya so

patriot - 9 June 2016

President Mugabe should be focusing on his legacy...what will his people and the world say about him after he is gone, will he be remembered as the revolutionary who brought independence to repressed Zimbabweans, or will the world and his people remember him as a blight who brought untold suffering and misery upon his own people. Is it the desire of our president to have the world point fingers at his children and call them the spawn of a black Hittler?

patrior - 9 June 2016

Chokwadi chaicho ndechekuti maZimbo mazhinji ari kunamata silently kuti dai Mugabe achifa hake. I will say it publicly, may the good Lord take this demonic being who has caused suffering to all and sundry.

kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk - 9 June 2016

Resign Robert plizzzzz. We are fed paper, sorry notes for what?

Cde Tichaz - 10 June 2016

toneta vanhuweee, chiendai henyu varume, hatibatei..Uncle Bobby vachembere. Im sure he just now a robot being controlled, akafa munhu uya..kare, ask the chinese they know what they did to him

chanachatete - 13 June 2016

They are afraid of the bond notes tithes. They have been chowing the USD and now suddenly all is about to vanish

shepz - 13 June 2016

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