Church calls for unity, peace

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Amalgamated Churches Council (Zacc) yesterday exhorted Zimbabweans to unite and bury differences that emerged from last month’s tightly-contested presidential election.

Zacc chairperson Jimayi Muduvuri yesterday told the Daily News On Sunday that the country would not achieve development and peace if ordinary people allowed politics to separate them.

“As the Church in Zimbabwe, representing apostolic sects in the country, we are happy that our people have continued to heed calls for maintaining peace and living in harmony.

“We are aware that there was a dispute over the presidential election but it is now in the past because the highest court in the land, the Constitutional Court, has put the matter to bed by upholding President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory.

“As the Church, we are urging all Zimbabweans to support the president so that he can deliver on his promises. This is a new dawn, this is a new dispensation.

Let us unite in supporting the president and his government because he is not a president for one party but for everyone, irrespective of their backgrounds,” said Muduvuri.

Muduvuri urged opposition leader Nelson Chamisa to embrace Mnangagwa’s call for unity, warning that failure to do so would reflect badly on his standing as leader and pastor.

“Last week, Chamisa called for ordinary people to fast for three days as the Con-Court was preparing to hear his application. He called for peace and we were all happy with that sort of attitude.

“As the Church, we expect him to maintain that path because you don’t pray for peace as and when it suits you. As he rightly said in his request for fasting last week, the country doesn’t belong to the MDC or Zanu PF but to all of us.

“So, Chamisa must desist from calling for peace today and calling for protests the next day. The Church is still saddened by the recent deaths of innocent people as a result of the violence caused by MDC Alliance actions,” Muduvuri added.

Zimbabwe recently held its first elections without both the ousted Robert Mugabe and the late popular MDC founder, Morgan Tsvangirai — who lost his brave battle with cancer of the colon early this year.

The historic elections pitted Mnangagwa against Chamisa.

Mnangagwa, 75, narrowly avoided a run-off by winning by a razor thin margin in an election which Chamisa alleged was rigged by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

However, the July 30 polls were tarnished by the deaths of at least six people who are said to have been shot by the army during protests which erupted in the Harare central business district (CBD) on August 1.

The violence and the army’s involvement in the protests took the gloss off the historic elections, which had until then been characterised by peace.

On Friday, the Con-Court upheld Mnangagwa’s poll victory ending three weeks of anxiety and uncertainty which had been brought by the dispute.

Yesterday, Chamisa who had on Friday accepted the Con-Court ruling said he was considering rolling mass protests against Mnangagwa and his government.

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