The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference has called on the government and the opposition to put their differences aside and work together to free Zimbabwe from economic shackles and international isolation.
BY Staff Reporter
In a pastoral letter published yesterday, the Catholic bishops said a precedent for working together between government and opposition was set when the Government of National Unity (GNU) was formed under similarly difficult circumstances in 2009.
“Zimbabwe’s economy and prospects were positively revived and only began to regress yet again from the time the GNU expired in 2013;” the bishops said.
“We call upon government to consult broadly and desist from unilateral imposition of policies that exacerbate the people’s suffering and to have policy consistency in order to instil confidence in investors, especially foreign investors.
“We call upon government to desist from heavy-handed handling of dissent and expression of rights and grievances by the people and to desist from denying people their rights, including the barring of access to social media communication imposed on January 15, 2019.”
The Catholic clerics also called on all people to exercise tolerance towards each other and to express their constitutional rights in a peaceful and non-violent manner.
“Peaceful protest is provided for in the Constitution. Regrettably, citizens’ protests and acts of civil disobedience degenerated into violence, destruction of property, injury and loss of life. We urge you to always shun violence and be mindful to respect everyone’s rights, especially those who do not agree with you,” the letter said.
“Even in the midst of current tensions and disturbances, there are new opportunities to rebuild hope, trust, confidence and stability in our country. The task at hand requires our collective responsibility in upholding everything that is good and right, to promote unity, reconciliation, and national cohesion. We wish to state our firm belief that Zimbabwe would easily become one of the best countries to live in on earth if only all of us, it’s people, committed to living and working with each other in harmony, tolerance and peace, putting the interests of the country before selfish and political party interests.”