The Zimbabwe Council of Churches has appealed to Zimbabweans to open their eyes because the solution to their problems is not far away.
In a pastoral statement on the just ended elections, the ZCC says peace is not going to be achieved in the absence of justice.
“As long as there are Zimbabweans crying, as long as there are Zimbabweans who feel excluded and marginalized, as long as there are Zimbabweans who are thirsty, as long as there are Zimbabweans who are wondering in the diaspora longing to come home but are afraid of uncertainties, God looks and hears their cry from heaven,” the church body said.
“God is saying the solution is not far away, the fountain is just close by. Let us all open our eyes, we have the solution. The solution lies not in our separation but in our reconciliation on the basis of justice.”
The ZCC appealed to the international community not to continue isolating Zimbabwe on the basis of the shortcomings of the just ended elections.
“You are fully aware that the punitive measures on the new government will not affect those in leadership but the ordinary Zimbabweans. We believe that it is in the opportunities for Zimbabweans’ access to health care, education and basic social services that the nation will flourish and grow a robust democracy,” the ZCC said.
“We plead with the international community to continue accompanying our new government and civil society and churches with the effort of strengthening these mutually enriching institutions for the maturation of our democracy.”
To the leaders of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, the ZCC said they must create avenues for inclusive dialogue and engagement as well as to heed the complaints raised by the MDC Alliance.
“The nation needs you to commit to a nation building dialogue process aimed at uniting the nation and creating an inclusive way forward.
“We ask you to consider and prioritise a formal constitutional recognition for the leader of the main opposition consistent with practices in other developed democracies.
“There will be need for a major revisiting of the electoral laws so as to restore the integrity of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
“Going forward, we ask that the newly appointed Parliamentarians and Councilors seek to promote justice and allow the freedoms to continue flourishing.”
To the Leaders of the Movement for Democratic Change DC Alliance, the ZCC said it acknowledged their frustrations and dissatisfactions regarding the electoral environment in Zimbabwe but prayed that they address their dissatisfactions through the courts of law with the aim of seeking just redress.
“In case the MDC Alliance does not trust to get a fair hearing in the courts, the church leadership makes itself available to facilitate other platforms of engagement as to bring mutually satisfactory closure to the current situation,” the ZCC said.
“We also plead with the MDC Alliance leadership to bear in mind the pressing need to maintain peace and not take actions that may easily deteriorate to chaos.
“Volatile situations tend to deteriorate and attain a life of their own beyond anyone’s control,” the ZCC said.
Below is the full Zimbabwe Council of Churches Statement