|Church and politics are inseparable|
|Saturday, 28 July 2012 20:09|
Edwin MwaseThe debate on the active role of the church in Zimbabwean politics smacks of hypocrisy.
Critics have been quick to attack Zanu-PF for its stance to engage the church in seeking peaceful solutions to the problems faced by the country.
President Mugabe and several senior party officials have in the past graced various church gatherings, much to the chagrin of rival political players.
But a rigorous look at the affairs of the church and politics shows that the two are inseparable.
Since time immemorial, the church has been an appendage of the political landscape.
Recent statistics show that over 80 percent of the world’s population is religious; hence the church becomes an active member on the political arena.
The first president of independent Zimbabwe, the late Reverend Canaan Banana, was the head of state and at the same time a prominent clergyman.
Political commentator Dr Lawton Hikwa said the church played an influential role in politics.
He said as a matter of policy, there was contestation as to what was defined as social justice by churches.
The Anglican saga in which the Archbishop Nolbert Kunonga faction has adopted a pro-liberation stance whilst the Bishop Chad Gandiya-led Church in the Province of Central Africa faction is accused of pursuing an imperialist agenda is a typical example.
difficult to demand that politicians must restrict themselves to politics.
“Clergymen are citizens. As such, they are affected as individuals by political decisions taken by those entrusted with governance matters.
“The role of the church in the promotion of social justice is quite biblical as evidenced by the whole credo of the book of Prophet Amos, and even by the generality of the teaching of Jesus Christ himself,” added Mr Wafawarova.
Bishop Trevor Manhanga concurred with Mr Wafawarova, adding that the church and those who lead it had a role to play in the nation and its politics.
“Pastors like everyone else vote for one party or another, which is normal. However, clergyman must not use their position to denigrate people or parties that they do not agree with.”
Another example is that of Moses who was a liberator, leading the people out of bondage to their Promised Land, and Daniel who played a role in politics whilst in exile.
The general consensus among the people that the church can have no authority in the operation of the state is absolutely hostile to the objectives and vision of progressive societies.