Clerics slam post-election violence

Veronica Gwaze
CHURCH leaders have condemned the violent protests instigated by MDC-Alliance leaders last week, resulting in the death of six people.

The clerics said the opposition party should take responsibility of its supporters’ unruly behavior.

The Zimbabwe National Elders Forum chair Bishop Felix Mukonowengwe had no soft words for the MDC-Alliance hoodlums.

“These elections were held in an improved political environment and we didn’t expect any political party to fan violence. We strongly condemn any form of violence. Let those who have lost accept defeat and move on with life,” he said.

Bishop Mukonowengwe said the elders were disheartened by the eruption of violence in central Harare, something which was contrary to the gospel of peace preached by President Mnangagwa.

He said while some parties raised allegations of vote rigging, the Government had created systems to ensure free, peaceful and fair elections, which saw many international observers flocking into the country for the July 30 polls.

The Zimbabwe Council of Churches secretary general, Dr Kenneth Mtata also condemned the MDC-Alliance post-election violence.

“We cherish the peace that prevailed before the elections and it’s every citizen’s duty to promote peace. The post-election period can be dangerous if not properly handled. Let’s be united and tolerant,” he said.

“Political leaders should speak against violence. If there is need to protest, please do so peacefully.”

The Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) secretary general, Pastor Blessing Makwara said, “It is regrettable that Zimbabwe witnessed violent demonstrations.

“We don’t condone violent behavior, citizens should unite.

“Church leaders should preach peace and channel grievances through the appropriate means as provided by the laws of Zimbabwe. Everyone must speak peace,” he added.

The Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Zimbabwe chair, Sheik Duwa weighed in, “Before and during elections, the nation proved to be a peace loving people. It’s unfortunate that violence broke out and we condemn such acts.

“We urge all religious communities to join hands and pray for peace,” he said.

Sheikh Duwa said some political leaders should be held responsible for fuelling violence through their utterances.

“Leaders should avoid statements that incite violence. Unity, love and peaceful co-existence must prevail despite different political affiliations,” he said.

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