“Church must come out of comfort zone and confront dictatorship”

The Church has been challenged to come out of its comfort zone and mobilize citizens to demand their social, economic and political rights if Zimbabwe is to come out of its multi-faceted crisis.

Bishop Bakare

Bishop Bakare

There was consensus during a civic society organizations national conference organized by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CIZC) that the church should not be intimidated but should take an active role in contributing towards resolving the Zimbabwean crisis.

Coordinator of the Zimbabwe National Pastor’s Conference (ZNPC), Pastor Lawrence Berejena said it was high time the country’s political leadership stopped intimidating the church for speaking against injustice.

“Statements made by the President threatening the church leaders to stop meddling in the country’s politics are wrong. Personally, I am not intimidated by his threats because as the church, we have a mandate to speak against the injustices of this world,” he said.

Berejena said because leaders were ordained by God, it was not proper for them to oppress the people while the church, which would have sworn in the same leaders into office using the Holy scriptures took a back stand without any action.

He took a swipe at church leaders siding with the Zanu (PF) regime for financial gain and in the process abdicating from their responsibility of being the voice of the oppressed.

“Bishops have been politicized and they are now surrounded by state security agents. Some are not speaking out against injustice because they have managed to benefit from the current system which is oppressing Zimbabweans,” said Berejena.

The Director of the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, Reverend Useni Sibanda said the church ought to stand up against dictatorship saying it was because of fear that the church had become voiceless.

“The church should not be guided by those in power as is the scenario in Zimbabwe. We need people that have the citizens at heart to rule this country.  A corrupt leader will impart corruption to the country’s citizenry,” he said.

Retired Anglican Bishop for the Harare Diocese, Sebastian Bakare said it was the role of the church to speak against all forms of injustices.

“The church is now guilty of the sin of commission and there is need to address that as we head towards the impending 2018 plebiscite,” he said.

The CIZC conference was attended by representatives from various CSOs around the country, faith and community based organizations, students’ unions, the informal sector and social movements including #Tajamuka and #Tasvinura among others.

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