Church calls for reconciliation in MDC

BULAWAYO - The head of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) has urged MDC leaders to set aside their differences and put national interest ahead of their individual interest.

This comes after the party’s three vice presidents Thokozani Khupe, Elias Mudzuri and Nelson Chamisa have been engaged in a zero-sum game to upstage each other in the battle to control the main opposition in the country.

This has been fuelled by a leadership vacuum left by party president Morgan Tsvangirai who is currently admitted at a South African private hospital where he is battling cancer of the colon.

“We urgently call upon you to be reconciled to one another since the existence of a united and viable opposition is a necessary condition for thriving of a society organised on the basis of a democratic multi-party system,” ZCC president Israel Mukuwanda said in a statement yesterday.

“As we continue to promote a peaceful, just, democratic and inclusive environment that allows for prosperity for all citizens, especially on the eve of an important election, the internal health of key democratic institutions such as opposition parties is of great importance to the nation,” he said.

The ZCC is one of the few institutions in Zimbabwe to enjoy broad credibility. Formed in 1964, the ZCC brings together churches and Christian organisations for joint action, witness and coordination, particularly to adopt a united and common response to the political and socio-economic challenges facing Zimbabwe.

Its bishops have frequently spoken out against human rights abuses and poor governance and electoral theft.

Mukuwanda prayed for peace in the party, and said the feud was a test of their ability to differ in peace.

“The current leadership crisis in the MDC can, in fact, be an opportunity to demonstrate values of peaceful coexistence and shared leadership in which leaders collaborate on a win-win basis rather than aiming for individual success above the rest,” Mukuwanda said.

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