Zimbabwe Churches call for national unity government
15 July 2008
Zimbabwean Christian Churches say people were subjected to torture, kidnapping, and murder before the 27 June presidential run-off poll and that violence continues today.
The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) and the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC) released a joint statement 14 July condemning the violence and the poll. The Christian leaders called for a negotiated settlement and offer their help in creating a Transitional Authority and Government of National Unity.
The country’s Church leaders said, “Based on the reality of the conditions prevailing on the ground, our conclusion is that the will of the people of Zimbabwe was not given authentic expression during these elections.
The statement said that despite the Church leaders’ plea for an end to the violence, they witnessed the most brutal forms of violence since 1980 before and after the Run-off election of 27 June 2008. “As we write this statement, we are saddened by reports of continued violence two weeks after the presidential run-off poll,” they said. Incumbent Robert Mugabe of ZANU PF’s won the run-off after the opposition MDC party withdrew from the poll, citing violence and intimidation by government forces and ZANU PF militias. .
The statement read: “As the Church in Zimbabwe we call upon God to have mercy on our nation, to forgive us all and to give our nation the spirit of forgiveness, healing, reconciliation, peace and prosperity.
“As the Church in Zimbabwe we call upon the presidents of ZANU PF and the MDC and their respective parties to put aside their differences and meet face to face to seek a solution to the situation.
“We call upon the Churches and all Zimbabweans to continue praying and pursuing peace, reconciliation and a positive resolve until we attain the Zimbabwe we want.
“We, the Churches of Zimbabwe, stand ready and committed to partner with all efforts that will result in a Transitional Authority and subsequently a Government of National Unity, to bring peace, stability and reconciliation within the nation.”
Caritas relief operations in Zimbabwe that feed over a million people are suspended following a government ban on international aid workers and because an increasing threat of violence.
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