ZIMBABWE Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) says the ruling Zanu-pf party has failed to unify Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.
In pastoral letter dated April 2 2020 signed by the country’s seven bishops, highlights on the need to reconcile the nation were brought to government’s attention.
“There is hunger for reconciliation and addressing past hurts and injustices.The establishment of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission presents hope but the organ is not fully operational,” they said.
The bishops said there is need to acknowledge the dark page in our national memory which led to the killing of many civilians in Matabeleland and parts of Midlands soon after independence.
“We have missed so many opportunities that God has given us,” ZCBC said.
ZCBC said if the 2013 charter is fully adhered to the country stands a chance to protect the rights of all Zimbabweans and urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa to prioritise alignment of laws to the constitution before nose diving to amend it .
“We therefore appeal to our government to ensure are aligned to the constitution and constitutionalism becomes the lifeblood of the governance architecture” said the bishops.
The remarks come at a time when Mnangagwa is working flat out to effect at least 27 amendments on the constitution and if passed by Parliament, the running mate clause for vice-presidents will be scrapped and the president will be given the sole powers to appoint judicial officers such as judges and the prosecutor-general.
However, the cardinals bemoaned the several opportunities which the ruling Zanu-pf party has missed since attaining independence forty years ago which include, the policy of reconciliation and the establishment of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission among others.
The bishops acknowledged that only the first decade in the country’s independence recorded some gains which were seriously eroded by the events of the following three decades and highlighted that the current scourge of Covid 19 risks worsening the situation.
ZCBC said as Zimbabwe approaches its 40th anniversary there is need to realise that the number 40 signifies fulfilment and the Bible mentions it for more than 140 times in the Bible hence the need to use the next ten years constructively.