23 May 2019

Zimbabwe: Zim Churches Stampede for National Dialogue Process

ZIMBABWE'S divided church community looks set for its own stampede to spearhead the country's national dialogue process with a church grouping saying Wednesday the entire process of bringing politicians together remained a fallacy if the church itself was not united.

At a media briefing Wednesday, Zimbabwe Christian Development Council (ZCDC) interim registrar Jairos Dzvene stressed the need for the country's many church denominations to unite first before it could consider convincing politicians to subscribe to any dialogue initiative.

"As churches, we are not united. We don't speak with one voice. So the first thing we are supposed to do as churches is to unite. We are so divided, we can't speak with one voice," pastor Dzvene.

"Because as it stands now, if one church umbrella body speaks, it's attributed to all church umbrella bodies.

"So we want to initiate a dialogue among church organisations and leadership. As it stands we are so divided."

Dzeve, whose organisation claims to have 300 affiliate churches, said it was pointless for them to call MDC leader Nelson Chamisa to be part of the dialogue process when they themselves remain divided.

"Charity begins at home," he quipped.

"Let's unite and then we go with one voice to the political leaders. How can we approach political leaders not participating in the political parties' dialogue when we are not united as men and women of cloth?

"For now, we only pray that the current political dialogue receives God's hand and that the economy of this country gets better."

Dzeve said it did not make sense for a divided church to apply pressure on MDC leader Nelson Chamisa to join President Emmerson Mnangagwa's so-called Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) when the same church is not talking to its own self.

"We cannot say Chamisa join the dialogue but we say no to individualism. Let's put the interest of the people that we lead first," he said.

This comes as the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) has taken the lead in attempts to initiate national dialogue among politicians in a hugely divided country.

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