This comes after church leaders met Mnangagwa and Chamisa separately last month, in a bid to nudge them to talk.
Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference spokesperson Frederick Chiromba said Zimbabweans should not lose hope.
“People must remain hopeful because our God is alive and he can solve everything. As churches, we need to find a formula for us to bring all people to the negotiating table,” he said.
Asked if they hoped that Mnangagwa and Chamisa would talk soon, Chiromba said giving up on this possibility was not an option.
“Yes, as churches we hope talks will take place. When it comes to polarisation, there is also a need to find a formula that will unite Zimbabweans.
“We must find each other as Zimbabweans. Differences come, but there is a need to solve them. It happens even in families. People quarrel, but at the end of the day they find a solution and they will sit together and talk.
“That’s what we need to do as Zimbabweans because we are one family and unity is key. I just want to urge Zimbabweans to remain hopeful because God will solve our problems,” Chiromba told the Daily News.
Zimbabwe Divine Destiny Church leader, Ancelimo Magaya, weighed in saying the church must urgently look for long-lasting solutions to the country’s political and economic crises.
“People should remain hopeful and for now the ball is in the church’s court. We need to find a formula to unite Zimbabweans. Leadership must also boost that hope by trying to engage each other.
“Churches must remain as the people’s voice, trying to find a solution to the current problems and we are hopeful that one day all Zimbabweans will come to the negotiating table.
“Church leaders should be clear about what has gone wrong and ensure that there is redress in that regard.
“People do not want churches which are compromised and are appendages to the evil that has been perpetrated by authorities,” Magaya told the Daily News.
Addressing a Zanu-PF politburo meeting recently, Mnangagwa repeated his calls for dialogue among Zimbabweans, to engender local peace.
“This morning I was pleased to receive a delegation from the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations which comprised the leadership of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, Catholic bishops, Zimbabwe Council of Churches and the indigenous churches.
“Dialogue must be encouraged throughout all sections of our society in the spirit of constructive engagement, among others.
“This is the culture of the second republic, of national building … peace… harmony … unity and love as we develop the Zimbabwe we love,” Mnangagwa said.
The meeting with clerics, especially the Catholic bishops, came after they had sharply criticised the government’s handling of the foiled July 31 mass protests.
In particular, the Catholic bishops’ letter in which they said “the march has not ended”, did not go down well with the government which issued a strong warning against clerics dabbling in politics.
Leading clerics have consistently said that they preferred locally-mediated national dialogue further dismissing calls for a foreign mediator by the opposition and some civil society organisations.
Mnangagwa has said emphatically that he will not seek outside help to foster national dialogue with the opposition and other key stakeholders in the country.
Regional economic powerhouse, South Africa, has of late been pushing to facilitate an all-stakeholders dialogue to try and end the country’s problems.
Last month, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and his ruling African National Congress (ANC) dispatched a delegation from the ruling party to Harare to meet with Zanu-PF and find ways of assisting Zimbabwe.
The ANC delegation that was led by party secretary-general Ace Magashule said it would soon return to Zimbabwe to meet Chamisa’s MDC Alliance, other opposition parties, civil society and the church.