Zimbabwean Churches Renew Push For National Dialogue

Rev Kenneth Mtata

Local church leaders under the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD) will meet next week in a bid to broker dialogue between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and opposition political leaders meant to end the nation’s polarisation and toxic politics.

Speaking to the Daily News on Thursday, ZHCOD executive secretary Reverend Kenneth Mtata said the churches’ position in calling for a broad-based national dialogue since 2016 has not changed. Said Mtata:

The Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations executive is meeting next week, on a date yet to be agreed on, and the issue of dialogue and the possibility of engaging Sadc are high on the agenda in view of the prevailing political climate in the country.

The meeting will discuss how, as the Church, we can go about ensuring that the talks become a reality, rather than mere talk.

This is because the position of the Church has not changed since we brought up this idea way back in 2016 … The challenges facing the country can only be resolved through a broad-based national dialogue.

While I cannot pre-empt what will come out before the meeting has been held, we will have a definitive position next week after the ZHOCD executive meeting.

In 2019, ZHOCD called for the suspension of all political contestation for a period of seven years saying the move will allow for the rebuilding of trust and confidence in order to chart a shared way forward towards a comprehensive economic recovery path in a non-competitive political environment.

ZHOCD include the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC), the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), the Union For Development of Apostolic and Zionist Churches in Zimbabwe Africa (UDACIZA) and the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ).

More: Daily News