USD is reliably informed that members of that church have become the latest target of ZANU PFs intimidatory tactics. Many have been forced to attend ZANU PF rallies at certain assembly points. Those courageous enough to defend the churchs doctrine of staying clear of politics are being labeled as sell-outs and / or MDC supporters.
Unfortunately for the church, members have told us, some church leaders have accepted soft loans as well as other financial favors from ZANU PF. This, they say, has resulted in those leaders becoming more susceptible to pressure and even amenable to ZANU PF wishes. The Muzarabani, Mt Darwin and Chitungwiza centers of the church are among the most deeply infiltrated, with the likes of Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu and the delinquent Joseph Chinotimba heading the list of intruders.
James Chitima (not his real name) said his message to ZANU PF is: We dont want our church to be used. Asked why they were raising these concerns, he explained that: We want to save our church. USD takes a serious view of any moves that encroach and trample on the rights of innocent Zimbabweans. Accordingly, we hereby strongly condemn ZANU PFs continued disregard for human rights and freedoms in the strongest possible terms.
The sanctity of a church must be respected at all times and politicizing churches whose doctrines do not encourage participating in the political process goes against the tenets of freedom of religion and is an affront to the founding values of the constitution of Zimbabwe.
Consequently, while we acknowledge ZANU PFs right to canvass for votes, we believe that the need to seek legitimacy at the next election must not be at the expense of the rights of Johane Masowe Church members. Such behavior is absolutely deplorable and must be stopped forthwith.Post published in: News