AFRICA/ZIMBABWE - Waiting for Mugabe's resignation; the Bishops: "give priority to the interests of the nation"

Tuesday, 21 November 2017 bishops   politics  

Harare (Agenzia Fides) - Zimbabwe lives in suspense while waiting for President Robert Mugabe to resign, requested by his party's leadership, ZANU-PF. "I call on President Mugabe to take into account the people's appeals in favor of his resignation so that the country can proceed and preserve its political inheritance", said Emmerson Mnangagwa, Vice President who was sacked by Mugabe on 6 November.
On November 15, the army took control of the main power buildings and strategic points of the capital, Harare, officially "to protect Mugabe from the criminals who surround him and are causing economic and social suffering".
In this confusing situation, the Bishops issued a statement on November 19, in which they encourage "those central to these delicate processes (particularly the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the political leadership) that they maintain the best interests of the nation as a priority and continue to work tirelessly for a peaceful end to the crisis and to speedy return to normalcy and Constitutional order". "We also implore all opinion leaders, all media, and the entire population to refrain from conduct and utterances that increase tension, engender hatred or inflame emotions. We discourage sensationalism, false news and all forms of hate media as these pose a grave danger to the peacefulness of the ongoing process and sustainability of peace", says the message sent to Agenzia Fides
"Let us be mindful of the fact that besides those who took action and those involved in the ongoing delicate process the entire population is concerned about the process as well as the future of the country", the message continues. After recalling that the current crisis has roots in the country's recent history, the Bishops emphasize that "a sustainable normalisation of Zimbabwe can only be achieved through a people inclusive and participatory process in a democratic way". "The nation must develop a culture of free and fair elections, referendums and consultations" that respect all the social components of the Country.
The Bishops finally demand that "those accused of crimes must at all times be accorded due process and protection of the law and that the role of the Civil Courts as independent arbiters continues unhindered as per the Constitution and as promised by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces".
The message ends with the invitation to individual and community prayer for the nation. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 21/11/2017)