The Church finally wakes up

After over two decades of rather uncomfortable sleep, the Church in Zimbabwe has finally blinked its eyes, yawned a healthy yawn and woken up to its God ordained responsibility as the Shepherd of the sheep and prophet to the nation.

Bishop Sebastian Bakare, above left, is one of many respected Church leaders who has spoken out against misrule, oppression and injustice.
Bishop Sebastian Bakare, above left, is one of many respected Church leaders who has spoken out against misrule, oppression and injustice.

Recently a group of church leaders led by Dr Goodwill Shana, representing Heads of Denominations, toured the region to force aged President Robert Mugabe to implement security, electoral and media reforms as he agreed in the Global Political Agreement.

This will lead to free and fair elections followed by peace, real national development and prosperity.

The group, working under the auspices of the Heads of Christian Denominations in Zimbabwe , presented to SADC ministers of justice a position paper which clearly outlines what needs to be done to solve the Zimbabwe crisis.

The clergymen also urged SADC to send election monitors to the country six months ahead of any election.

Zanu (PF)’s praise- singer, the Herald newspaper, quoted so-called government sources as describing the tour as a “regime change plot” saying they were selling an MDC-T position paper. This would be a very good joke if it was not so tragic.

To be fair, this is not the first time Heads of Denominations have spoken out against the status quo. After the violent March 2008 elections they issued a public statement including these words; “As the shepherds of the people, we appeal:

To SADC, the African Union and the United Nations to work towards arresting the deteriorating political and security situation in Zimbabwe. We warn the world that if nothing is done to help the people of Zimbabwe from their predicament, we shall soon be witnessing genocide similar to that experienced in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and other hot spots .”

If theGPA reforms are not implemented in full the situation in Zimbabwe is going to be much worse than in 2008. This is why instead of just speaking out as they did then, the church leaders have now taken it upon themselves to visit regional leaders and impress upon them the dire nature of the situation.

It would not be true to say that these are the only times the prophetic voice of the Church has been heard denouncing misrule, oppression, and lack of justice.

The Church has been speaking through individuals like Bishop Pius Ncube, Bishop Sebastian Bakare, Bishop Ancelmo Magaya, Bishop Levee Kadenge, Rev Eric Ruwona and many others. It has also spoken through Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, the Christian Alliance, National Pastors Conference, Churches In Manicaland, Christians Together for Justice and Peace and the Zimbabwe Christian Students Union. So far, Zanu (PF) has shown nothing but contempt for the Church.

To them it is there only to be used to shore up their political support. We have seen political leaders, including the President, attending African Apostolic church services decked out in white gowns and staffs, singing the praises, not of Jesus Christ, but of Zanu (PF).

When it suits them, Zanu (PF) forces churches to stop their services, forcing worshippers to attend rallies instead. This happened in Chimanimani in February, when Minister of State, DidymusMutasa and others forced Methodists, Baptists and even the African Apostolic Church to abandon services and attend a rally. I will not waste time talking about excommunicated Anglican Bishop NolbertKunonga and the way he has been assisted by the police to harass and torment the Anglican Church in order to make it pay allegiance, not to God, but to Zanu (PF).

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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