AFRICA/ZIMBABWE - Christian Churches, a solid reference for the people in the post-Mugabe era

Saturday, 10 September 2022 politics  

Harare (Agenzia Fides) - "The new era that we all hoped would begin after the fall of Mugabe in 2017 has not yet begun or at least the path is not going as planned. However, the situation is stabilizing and the government now seems more focused on development than on militant ideology. The economy is still in dire straits due to the sanctions that persist from the Mugabe era. But as relations with the entire international community improve, the situation should improve. And the Churches are doing their part to contribute to the development of the country and the well-being of the people," said Fr. Frederick Chiromba, General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Zimbabwe who speaks to Agenzia Fides almost five years after the end of Robert Mugabe's regime, which has been in power in this southern African country for almost 40 years. Four years after the elections that confirmed Emmerson Mnangagwa as president by a handful of votes (he was vice-president when Mugabe fell and was appointed president), the nation's approximately 17 million inhabitants are still waiting for a turning point. The population hopes that the democratic process lead to development and respect for rights, and that Zimbabwe will gain more and more credibility in the eyes of the international community, so that the sanctions, which it is still subject to, are partially lifted. The role assumed by the Christian Churches, especially since the beginning of the post Mugabe era, has increasingly been that of a solid point of reference for the population, which was confused and frightened. "The Christian Churches - continues the prelate - are today a stable point of reference for Zimbabwe and continue to promote a global national dialogue for the healing and reconciliation of the entire country. This is where we can start: giving, in the name of the Gospel, dignity to every person, or to every human being. The road is still long and complex, but we remain confident for a better tomorrow, because the government seems sensitive to constructive ideas".
In the country, about 87% of the population is Christian, the rest identify with other faiths (about 2.5%) or none (10%). There are about thirty churches and Christian communities present and recognized in the country, united under the aegis of the "Zimbabwe Council of Churches". There are about 2 million Catholics. (LA) (Agenzia Fides, 10/9/2022)