Saturday, September 18, 2021
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Churches call for tolerance, justice for peace to prevail


…deploy peace
ambassadors in communities

Tinaani
Nyabereka

GWERU
Some
faith-based organisations have urged people and political players to uphold
tolerance and forgiveness for peace and reconciliation to prevail in the country.
Speaking at the Churches
Convergence on Peace Conference (CCOP) recently hosted by the Zimbabwe
Christian Alliance (ZCA) in partnership with Zimbabwe Divine Destiny (ZDD),
Bishop Ancelimo Magaya said if leaders were told the truth, they would sit down
and dialogue.
“We must come to truth
telling, we must know what triggered the conflict which led to most of the
violent encounters we experienced. We must understand who ordered people to be killed,
shops to be destroyed and looted, no one has answered such questions.
“Unless we get to know
some of these answers we will never taste peace in our nation as a people. When
God launched his redemption programme, he had noticed a lot on the human mind
so we need to dig up the truth. Another issue is of justice which should be
applied fairly and universally. If justice is executed, peace and tolerance will
be embraced. Let this be known to everyone including our leaders despite which
political party one belongs,” said Magaya.
There have been many but
so far futile calls for President Emmerson Mnangagwa and MDC Alliance leader
Nelson Chamisa – the main political protagonists in the country – to sit down
and find common ground on how to tackle the country’s debilitating political
and economic crises.
ZCA director Useni
Sibanda said the church was the pivot of peace initiatives starting at ward
level.
“We realised that the church
has a pivotal role to play. Capacitating pastors will help in the peace-building
process in our communities and country as this can even start at community
level.
“Most of the peace
ambassadors originated from such capacity-building programmes and as churches, we
will continue to work with political parties so that people understand the importance
of peace in our environment. We need to work on various strategies to continue with
our drive for unity and reconciliation,” said Sibanda.
Mashonaland Central
CCOP representative, Pastor Maxwell Jiri said teamwork was essential in
engaging both the victims and the perpetrators of violence.
“As a province, we
dealt with a lot of issues regarding the issues of conflict and violence. We
did it as a team because we believed in combined efforts and we managed to
cover many districts. As you know, we are also affected a by the issue of Mashurugwi;
the machetes gangs who are causing a lot of unrest and attacking people in
informal mining communities,” said Jiri.
He said they were also
working to find ways to prevent cholera outbreaks now that the country is very
close to the rainy season.
“We also worked on the
issue of politicisation of food aid; a practice which has affected the welfare
of many people in the area. I am glad we managed to solve some of the issues,”
Jiri said. 
The event ran under
the theme, “Building a Peaceful Zimbabwe for the Present and All Future
Generations’.                                                                                                                 

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