Zimbabwe: Churches Rap Kunaka

Photo: The Herald
Former Chipangano leader Jim Kunaka testifies before the Motlanthe Commission.
26 November 2018

CHURCHES over the weekend rapped opposition activist Mr Jimu Kunaka for bragging that he was of a violent disposition and used to terrorise political opponents, saying such claims had no place in the new dispensation led by President Mnangagwa.

Zimbabwe Amalgamated Churches Council (ZACC) patron Mr Jimayi Muduvuri said President Mnangagwa had been unequivocal in preaching peace and Mr Kunaka belonged to the old dispensation.

The statement by the church organisation followed evidence led by Mr Kunaka, who is a member of the National Patriotic Front, before a commission of inquiry led by former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe into the August 1, 2018 post-election violence that claimed six lives and left a trail of destruction in central Harare.

In his evidence, Mr Kunaka, a former Zanu-PF Youth League chairperson for Harare province, bragged that he used to torment his opponents with impunity during the old dispensation led by former president Mr Robert Mugabe.

He said during his days in Zanu-PF, he was a member of the G40 cabal, a clique that had usurped powers from Zanu-PF and Government taking advantage of its proximity to the then First Family.

"As churches, we are worried and disturbed by such assertions in which a political actor boasts that he is a person who is of a violent disposition and seeking to open old wounds," said Mr Muduvuri.

"President Mnangagwa has been consistent, unwavering and unequivocal in his resentment of violence.

"He has been preaching peace and political tolerance. As churches, we cannot keep quiet when a senior official of a political party is preaching hate language and uttering inciting words on national television with reckless abandon."

Mr Muduvuri said attempts by Mr Kunaka to discredit the just-ended July 30 harmonised elections by claiming that he was abducted were frivolous since several local, regional and international bodies have certified the elections as free and fair.

"Sadc, African Union and Comesa were categorical in their election observation reports that hailed the election as free, fair and credible," he said.

"As churches, we want us to continue guided by biblical principles of peace, unity and national cohesion."

Mr Muduvuri said Mr Kunaka's utterances only served to confirm why he was expelled from Zanu-PF.

"As churches, we are left with no option except to say that Zanu-PF might have been right after all in expelling him since by his own admission he is a violent person," he said.

"But the bigger picture as a nation is that let us focus on the present challenges and how should we achieve our national objectives."

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