Zimbabwe’s Bishop Mutendi sets the tone for national dialogue


“I was tipped not to mention names because no one else has mentioned any names but I feel I have to mention them because we have our history,” Bishop Mutendi said.

“We have got our forefathers. We have our founding fathers. We have our early nationalists. We have people like Joshua Nkomo, he fought to have peace. We have our former President Robert Mugabe, he went all out to have peace and talked with Nkomo when things were very difficult. We have people like the founder of the MDC Morgan Tsvangirai, he talked with Mugabe, he did not think it was humiliation to talk to his opponent for the sake of peace.

“How lucky we are because when Mugabe entered into all these talks the present President Emmerson Mnangagwa was his right hand man. When Tsvangirai went to talks, how lucky we are, because the present leader of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance Advocate Nelson Chamisa was his right hand man.  So why can’t it happen today. Why can they not talk?”

Bishop Mutendi said he felt like a hypocrite by urging politicians to unite when a few minutes earlier he had realised that church leaders could not unite either, that is why there are so many bishops and umbrella organisations representing churches.

He said, however, it was possible for people to unite if they humbled themselves before God because God himself says in 2 Chronicles 7 vs 14: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will heal their land.”

Bishop Mutendi stressed that though he had mentioned the names of only two leaders, the talks should be inclusive just like God was inclusive and ruled as a trinity with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Citing Joel 2 vs 28 which says: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions,” Bishop Mutendi said dialogue in Zimbabwe should involve everyone- the young and the old, men and women.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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