Zimbabwe Council of Churches Pastoral Letter to their Nation
Pastoral letter to the nation
We members of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) meeting at Kentucky Airport hotel during the National Executive meeting on the 27th of October 2009 acknowledged the promising positive national developments that we participated in at various levels following the signing of the Global political Agreement (GPA) and the setting up of the Government of National Unity (GNU). The positive developments include the initiation of such important processes as economic reform, national healing and reconciliation and constitutional reform. We however, noted with great concern that these processes have been grossly affected by the following:
- It is now just over a year since the signing of the GPA and eight months since the GNU came into being. Yet there is no full compliance with the terms of the GPA as a number of significant issues are still unresolved. Among these we note the delay in the appointment of provincial governors and one deputy minister of agriculture.
- The disengagement by the MDC-T over issues of non-compliance.
- The apparent lack of political will in resolving the political impasse in Zimbabwe which has created a lot of anxiety among the people.
- The delays, uncertainty and lack of transparency in constitutional reform and national healing processes.
- The continued biased reporting by sections of the media has further rendered the GPA very fragile.
- The general uncertainty that has grabbed the whole nation has eroded investor confidence in our beautiful country.
- Poor remuneration of both public and private sector employees.
- The difficulties people face in raising school fees and exam fees. The continued subsidising of teachers’ salaries by parents who are already overburdened by economic hardships.
- The continued deterioration of the health services.
- Continued exploitation of the unemployed and rural poor who have to barter their possessions in the desperate search for the limited foreign currency
- Continued land invasions and acts of violence and intimidation in parts of the country some of which have resulted in internal displacements.
- Political elements determined to derail the nation building process.
- Continued manipulation and closure of democratic space and selective application of the law using such draconian legislation as POSA and AIPPA.
The people of Zimbabwe have suffered for too long due to problems that can be resolved amicably. They are looking to the leaders to be more magnanimous and conscientious of their plight each time they meet to deliberate on the future of our nation.
We therefore call upon:
- the principals to the GPA to fully commit themselves to addressing expeditiously outstanding issues of the GPA.
- the principals and their political parties to respect the lives of Zimbabweans and put their selfish interests aside and build the once beautiful land of Zimbabwe.
- the MDC-T to revisit its decision of withdrawal from the Cabinet and Council of Ministers and ascertain whether such decision shall enhance the well-being of Zimbabweans.
- ZANU – PF to respect the terms of the GPA and fully commit themselves to addressing outstanding issues.
- those perpetuating division and polarization to stop all beatings, false accusations, torture, intimidation and any threats and redirect such energy towards nation building.
- the government to repeal repressive laws and create more democratic space for people as a necessary condition for genuine constitutional reform, and true national healing and reconciliation.
- SADC, as guarantor of the GPA, to ensure that the principals from the three political parties comply with the terms of the agreement.
- all Christians and all people of good will in Zimbabwe, SADC, Africa and the whole world to continue to teach and preach the message of hope and peace, and pray with and for us that God may give us guidance, wisdom and courage as we labour to resolve the political, economic, leadership and moral crisis bedevilling Zimbabwe.
- the regional and international community to accompany us in the process of nation building
- all faithfuls that hope is not lost, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ is with us as we journey in our political wilderness. Let us remain resolute and prayerful knowing that the just shall live by faith and the wicked will not escape God’s wrath. (Romans 1v17)
We commit ourselves to:
- Facilitate dialogue as we build our nation.
- Our readiness to engage with all stakeholders for the common good of all Zimbabweans.
- Facilitate peace building, national healing and reconciliation. This includes speaking and preaching against violence in all its forms without fear or favour.
- Continued building the spirit of tolerance through the ‘Love thy neighbour’, principle.
We continue as your shepherds to pray and seek God’s guidance as we together fight against evil forces that seek to derail our nation building knowing that good shall prevail over evil.
We remain in God’s presence
ZCC Heads of Member Churches