Concerns of the Church in Zimbabwe
As the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations, we are honoured to have an opportunity to speak to you today. As you know, the Church is very close to citizens who come to church not only to pray, but also to share their joys, concerns and sorrows. As the Church, we represent the voice of the people, especially the poor and the marginalized.
We therefore feel that we should periodically convey some of the people’s feelings to assist you (our leaders in Government) in decision making regularly. As the ZHOCD:
- We recognize the Government’s effort in trying to promote national peace and healing by establishing a National Peace and Reconciliation Commission which you lead. As the ZHOCD, we are prepared to be of service to the national peace and reconciliation process. We would appreciate a participatory national peace and reconciliation process that gives Zimbabwean men and women, young and old, the opportunity to determine a national peace and reconciliation process they want. The ZHOCD has existing structures from the national to the ward level that could be used to pursue this process.
- We note the Government’s declaration of the state of emergency after a bad 2015-2016 agriculture season – and the consequent initiatives to feed the nation. The various Church agencies are also in the process of mobilizing resources to complement these Government’s efforts. We hope that the food would be adequate and would reach to everyone who Is In need, regardless of their sex, faith and political affiliation.
- We realize the Government’s efforts in trying to give citizens opportunities to own homes by providing residential land for individuals and groups. We feel that the allocation of residential stands and construction of houses should be closely monitored by the local authorities. This would prevent manipulation of desperate home seekers by individuals or groups usually for personal and political mileage. Close monitoring will also avoid future destruction of people’s homes if they are later recognized as 9llegal’ Zimbabweans work hard and have a unique resilience to difficulties that has enabled them to build their own homes. Many citizens have seen the destruction of their ‘illegal’ homes as a betrayal by their own
Government which should, in actual fact, protect and provide shelter for Its citizens.
- We heard of an announcement by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to Introduce bond notes to run concurrently with the country’s multi-currency system as legal tender. Many people who have come to Church to Communicate their concerns have expressed a lot of panic over bond notes. They don’t see the difference between bond notes and the hyper-inflationary bearer cheques that were used up to 2008. If they are to be introduced (bond notes), there should be tangible guarantees that citizens’ will not lose out in the process. However, more efforts and determination should be put towards revitalization of our industries to create employment, boost exports, manage our fiscal expenditure to realize economic growth.
- We have read, in the media, audit reports produced by the Auditor General. Most of the reports have Indicated corruption in Government parastatals. Some of the main corruption areas have been tender and procurement procedures, confiscation of funds for personal use and hefty salaries and packages for the executives and managers. Some of the amounts of money lost in corruption could be adequate to recapitalize one or two industries in the country. We expect that the perpetrators will be quickly brought to book and hold accountable.
- We heard His Excellency the President saying the nation was robbed wealth to the tune of $15 billion by known diamond mining firms in Chiadzwa. This is one of many cases of the looting of our finite natural resources, contributing towards further impoverishments of our people. We are saddened that to date, no one has been brought to account such case of fraud of the highest order ever since this nation was born in 1980. We believe this amount would actually help this nation offset the over $10 billion debt plus interests or better still, used to finance public investments in education, water and sanitation, revive our industrial capacity and mitigate against the El Nino induced drought. We need a full audit and explanation on the $15 billion that is missing and all culprits to be brought to book.
- We note that there have been some changes in the education system, institutions and protocols, especially within the Primary and Secondary Education. We feel that the changes could be more helpful if more extensive discussions and dialogues between the parent Ministry, the Church, relevant associations, parents, teachers and other relevant stakeholders are carried out before implementation. There could be possibilities of resistance if there is a feeling of imposition.The Church in Zimbabwe is fully committed to complimenting and supporting Government’s efforts in everything that promotes human life and dignity.
The Church in Zimbabwe is fully committed to complimenting and supporting Government’s efforts in everything that promotes human life and dignity.
On behalf of the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD),
Bishop Ishmael Mukuwanda ZHOCD Chair
Direct all Inquiries to Pastor Blessing Makwara
+263 784 862 492
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