Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesman George Charamba has sensationally claimed that Citizens Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa was behind the call by the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations for the postponement of elections for seven years.
ZHOCD which groups together the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe and the Union for Development of Apostolic and Zionist Churches in Zimbabwe Africa, called for the sabbatical in October 2019 to allow the country to cool off before any elections following the disputed 2018 elections which left six people dead.
Writing in weekly column in the Herald under pen name Jamwanda, Charamba said: “Chamisa and his MDC then, his Triple C now, are behind the Mutata-Magaya proposal of an election sabbatical under the pretext of a national dialogue.
“They want elective politics suspended for a minimum of seven years, during which cross-party elites join hands in some consensual pact of dictatorship.
“Even certain sections of the media and the academia have bought into this.
“Those rejecting this falsely consensual, holy benediction to dictatorship, are traduced as hardliners….. Do we want that for our Nation?”
Charamba was questioning the CCC decision not to hold a congress before next year’s elections.
Below is what the churches said about the sabbatical they were calling for.
ZHOCD statement on sabbatical rest
CALL FOR NATIONAL SABBATH FOR TRUST AND CONFIDENCE BUILDING
7th October 2019
We, the leaders of the ZHOCD made up of EFZ, UDACIZA, ZCBC and ZCC, met at the Africa Synod House on the 7th of October 2019 to consider the currently unfolding national crisis in its totality and to propose what we believe is a comprehensive but sustainable solution to it. We have prayerfully come to the conclusion that in light of the current political paralysis, deepening mistrust and the dehumanizing economic decline, the nation will need to take a bold decision to address the root causes of our national challenges that have a very long history and will not be fully resolved by one entity. In this light, we are calling the nation to SABBATH on all political contestation for a period of seven years to allow for the rebuilding of trust and confidence, reset our politics and chart a shared way forward towards a comprehensive economic recovery path in a non-competitive political environment. This position builds on the founding vision of the 2006 church discussion document, the Zimbabwe We Want. The position also builds on the proposal from the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations Episcopal Conference at the Large City Hall, Bulawayo of 08-09 May 2019.
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