By Ashwell Zikhali
The Zimbabwe Indigenous Interdenominational Council of Churches (ZIICC) has dissociated itself from “The March is not Ended” pastoral letter issued by the Catholic Bishops on Friday, and endorsed by many Christian societies, civic groups and political parties alike.
In a media address on Tuesday, ZIICC patron, Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi, who is also the leader of Zion Christian Church (ZCC), said the church was dissociating itself from calls by some ecclesiastical leaders to march against the Government.
“We take strong exception to and categorically dissociate ourselves from calls by certain religious leaders to march against the government and to reignite conflicts and wounds of the past to heal us, from which God answered our prayers by bringing political leaders to the negotiating table where reconciliation was achieved.”
Mutendi further said there is need for true men of the cloth to encourage followers to be productive, and not destructive.
“As true shepherds, let us encourage our sheep to be productive rather than destructive. Right from the beginning, God urged man to be productive. Good shepherds should therefore urge their sheep to work towards building our country.”
Mutendi also urged his fellow clerical leaders to preach hope and restoration through prayer.
“This is the time to preach hope that God has given us this land and boundaries, we live here and we have a past, and bad things have happened and we are correcting it through prayer.”
The spokesperson of the ZIICC, Reverend Wutawunashe, said that the proposed actions against the government would make it respond in a manner that justifies a falsely painted picture.
“These tactics have also, from the outset involved the extreme provocation of the elected Government to goad it into reactions that would, if succumbed to, serve to justify the false picture being painted.”
Wutawashe, however, said that the people deserve better leadership from their political leaders, not ruthless and cynical adversarial politics.
“The people of Zimbabwe deserve better from their political leaders rather than this ruthless and cynical adversarial politics. This kind of politics is reminiscent of the proverbial ‘genius’ who sits on a high branch while applying a determined hacksaw on the portion between himself and the tree trunk.”
The ZIICC press conference was issued after the Catholic Bishops rebuked the government for human rights abuse and economic woes in their pastoral letter titled “The March is not Ended.”