Bishop Chad speaks on domestic and political violence

Murewa- THE Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Harare Dr Chad Nicholas Gandiya on Saturday 20 August 2016 urged Anglicans and the broader society to shun domestic and political violence as it created unending disputes in society, which unfortunately spilled into the Church. He said domestic violence usually started in the family, between husband, wife, children and other relatives, before it spilled into the society, as well as in the Church. The Bishop said people coming from a violent environment in the household usually brought their violence into the Church and society.

THE Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Harare Dr Chad Nicholas Gandiya

THE Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Harare Dr Chad Nicholas Gandiya

The Bishop was addressing more than 2 000 Anglicans during the Mass held at St Clare’s Mission for the nineteenth Wabvuwi Memorial Conference held to commemorate the death of five members of the Anglican Wabvuwi Guild who died in a road accident on 9 November 1997. The Conference, which ran under the theme of Let us Cross Over, was held from Friday 19 August and ended on Sunday 21 August 2016. The five Wabvuwi Guild members are Samuel Mudiwa, Charles Chekerwa, Lazarus Pasipanodya, Thomas Dzikiti and Alfrege Maramba.
The Bishop raised three pertinent issues of domestic violence, early child marriages and human trafficking as the major issues that the Anglican Church has to seriously address. He urged all Church members to carry with them this message in every place they visited, and make these key issues their business so that the Church is seen to be playing its important role of spreading the message of hope and peace in society.
“There must not be domestic violence, especially between husbands and wives,” he said. “There are mostly abusive men, but we have also become aware that some women abuse their husbands. As such we do not want violence in the family, because this violence is also coming into the Church, starting in the family. As heads of families, you fathers lead your family in prayer, and this helps you as a family to put all your burdens upon the Lord, and that way you will have peace, which will be experienced in the Church and in the society where we live.
“The Anglican Diocese of Harare rejects all forms of domestic violence. We are aware that there are disputes between spouses, but these must be managed within the family system. As an observation we have noted that when there is violence in the Church, we have traced it back into the families where the family violence is being imported into the Church. Our Church is against all violence.”
Dr Gandiya also took time to render some valuable advice to young men and women intending to get married, warning them against engaging in acts of violence during their courtship. He said a girl should not expect that a young man who beats her up during courtship will end that behaviour when they get married. Cases abound of young couples who have sought the help of priests and other competent counsellors due to causes of domestic violence, where these youngsters are unable to resolve their family disputes. Therefore the Church must shun violence, and promote peaceful resolution of family disputes, which results in a Church founded on love and respect for others.
Once there is peace in the family, the resultant peace would also be experienced in the Church and in the communities where more people live, he said. He said having different opinions on political, social and economic issues should not result in people fighting and killing each other.
The Bishop also spoke at length about cases of under-age marriages where poverty stricken parents and guardians have married off their young girls below the age of 18 years to elderly men. He said this year very little rains fell, and this has exerted more pressure on poor parents and guardians who were unable to plant anything in their fields, and there was severe hunger among the people.
Bishop Gandiya said, “In the past people married off their underage children without any problems. However, now the Government has a law which makes it criminal to do so. We are coming in the Anglican Church, saying parents; do not marry you children off due to drought and poverty. The drought and the resultant food shortages should not be used to abuse these young children. Parents do not allow your young daughters to go into premature marriages because of five bags of maize or even hundred bags. That is not right. Let the young girls grow up, acquire an education, and mature, and by the Grace of God, find a suitable their own husbands at the right time without any undue pressure.”
Commenting on human trafficking, the Bishop said a lot of people were being offered very attractive packages when they seek alternative employment in foreign countries through advertisements placed in local newspapers. He said it was unfortunate that in the majority of the cases, particularly relating to Kuwait and other Middle East destinations, professional girls from Zimbabwe were being exploited and used to indulge in prostitution once they went to those countries.
“The economic and social hardships being experienced by people, including in the Church, have forced some to seek jobs in dangerous places where they end up being slaves,” Bishop Chad said. “Of course, even our clergy are going for months without receiving their monthly stipends, but the situation will be fine. When you find these adverts inviting applicants, please verify that you are doing something genuine and not end up being a slave of some unscrupulous people in the Middle East and other Arab destinations where this scourge has been prevalent.”

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