The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) says the forthcoming harmonised elections should usher in a leader who cares about the health of the poor.
The country goes to elections later this year to elect Councillors, Members of Parliament and the President.
In a pastoral letter titled The Unjust Fetters, released on the Catholic Church’s 40-day lent season which is underway, ZCBC bemoaned the high levels of poverty prevailing in the country.
“Looking at where we are, we see that our people are witnesses and worse, victims of abject poverty and destitution. We live with these and there doesn’t seem to be an exodus, a way out of this desperation, where people are without work, and those with work are paid never enough to feed themselves and look after their families.
“We see a growing population on the streets living on begging. We see a very high percentage of young people of school going age not going to school and a good number of them now being employed, by untouchable drug lords, to sell drugs and killing themselves and many others in the process. We also see that our people are being used as ponies in the power game.
“Clearly they are victims of political violence fanned by the reckless utterances of the political leadership in its quest for power. How many more people have to be maimed and how many have to be killed before we can put a stop to all this? Surely we can allow compassion for each other to breathe. We can tolerate political differences and we can learn from each other what to add to our own political vision and how to market it without the shedding of blood. Violence should never be a tool employed in politics,” said ZCBC
The Bishops expressed concern over the rampant corruption which they said seems to be supported by those in power.
“We go to this important General Election to elect a leader that has a clear plan about how to put families first by creating good employment so as to lower the increased number of our poor people living in desperate situations of outright deprivation. This election must bring to the highest office a leader who cares about the health of the excluded poor both young and old.
“The altruistic approach that gave us the aforementioned successes seemingly has been aborted and replaced by a raw form of individualism seeking nothing but self-aggrandizement through corruption. What is most worrisome is that such rampart corruption by known players is not being nipped in the bud by the responsible offices but is seemingly supported by those in power by their silence and inaction,” said the Bishops.
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