SW Radio Africa (London)

12 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Bulawayo Church Groups to March Over Corruption

Christian groups in Matabeleland and Bulawayo province have organised a symbolic march on Thursday to highlight the problem of corruption in Zimbabwe, which they say has become part of our culture.

Reverend Useni Sibanda from the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance (ZCA) told SW Radio Africa that the march is part of a broader church mission to influence specific key issues in the new Constitution, being drafted by the unity government.

He said the churches will later deal with other issues in the Constitution, including national healing, devolution of powers and religious freedoms. But corruption is central to all the other issues, and must be dealt with first.

"All Zimbabweans are concerned about corruption and we as the church, because we are standing on moral ground and we are the light, we really want to see it eradicated," Reverend Sibanda explained.

He added that after the march there will be discussions with representatives from the select committee drafting the new charter (COPAC), the Organ on National Healing, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and other political leaders.

The event was organised to coincide with International Anti-Corruption Day, which was observed on December 9th this year. It also comes just a week after the global watchdog, Transparency International, released their latest report on corruption, ranking Zimbabwe as the most corrupt country in Southern Africa.

The report included Transparency's 2012 Corruption Perception Index, which ranked Zimbabwe 163 out of 176 nations that were assessed. Somalia and North Korea were ranked the world's most corrupt countries, with Denmark and Finland ranking the least corrupt.

Reverend Sibanda said the march on Thursday will be symbolic and will start at the Bulawayo City Hall and proceed to the Brothers in Christ Church in Bulawayo central. The church groups expect at least 1,000 people, that were invited to take part in the march. But it is also open to the general public.

The Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, the Evangelical Fellowship ofZimbabwe, Zimbabwe Council of Churches and several other apostolic faith denominations are taking part in the march. Reverend Sibanda said the police cleared the event and are scheduled to escort them all the way.

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