Mashonaland Central Provincial War Veterans Chairperson, Samuel Parirenyatwa has labelled Catholic Bishops as puppets who are serving foreign interests after they called out the government on its human rights abuses in recent weeks.
The Bishops’ letter was met with restraint from the government when Information Minister torched a tribalism storm after she said the leader, Bishop Robert Ndlovu, represents a minority, Ndebele group.
Her sentiments were preceded by a 22 paged response to the Bishops by Justice Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi, who said the clerics were harbouring political ambitions.
The sledging has not stopped as the war vets have also weighed in saying the Bishops are wolves in sheep’s clothing as they have an agenda they are serving.
“I think everybody was somewhat surprised to get such a letter from people considered to be men of the cloth. Men of the cloth are considered to be people who preach peace, love and respect and when you see them now preaching violence and disunity then you begin to wonder if they are really men of the cloth or they are just wolves in sheep’s clothing.
“We were surprised to see the so-called Bishop Ndlovuand his team making such a pronouncement, we thought that maybe if they could do such a thing, they should at least check the facts on the ground and rely on tangible facts not rely on fiction.
“We then understand that these are not really men of the cloth as they are pronouncing themselves but they are actually people being used to destabilize the country,” Parirenyatwa said.
He said contrary to the Bishops’ claims of a crisis, there is no human rights crisis in Zimbabwe. Parirenyatwa said the only crisis in the country is the one caused by sanctions and COVID-19.
He said the public should ignore the statement because”it is a non-entity.
He further stated that his organisation and its affiliates have since stopped treating the Bishops as men of the cloth but as politicians.
“It should be noted that from now on, the rules of politics now apply when dealing with People like Ndlovu and his group
Meanwhile, the Federation for Indigenous Churches of Zimbabwe (FICZ) says its members will not hold placards and take to the streets and protest against the government while calling for stiffer measures for those who break the law.
“The indigenous churches with reference to our demographic dividend have no obligation to inscribe and hold placards in the name of street protest in whatever form or assume the role of judges, interfering with judicial processes to protect lawbreakers in a way to appease insatiable endeavours (the government has a mandate to restrain evil). A religious body is not an equal partner of the government but its constituency falls directly on its membership.
“We remain apolitical and cannot serve the aberration tactics of those inclined to the religiopolitical persuasion with subservient agendas bend on establishing political offices abusing the church as a stepping pedal. The church’s role is to exalt Christ and model the message of redemption ultimately fulfilling the eternal invisible Kingdom,” said the federation in a statement.
President Mnangagwa last told a ZanuPF Politburo meeting that the Bishops should come out in the open and declare their political ambitions.