The Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) recently hosted their Zambian counterparts to exchange notes on the role played by the church in the just ended general elections.
In an interview with 263Chat, Dr. Tinashe Gumbo, ZCC programmes team leader said the engagement was part of their #IprayIvote campaign.
“The fourth pillar was post-election envisioning process which is what is happening now that is the national dialogue process which is informed by the I pray I vote campaign. We had observed that the elections were not going to solve the challenges that are facing Zimbabwe so we committed ourselves to take the lead to ensure that the country reconciles and ensure that Zimbabweans talk to each other and we are doing that at the moment.
“While we are doing so we are now in a COVID-19 situation and you remember in 2020 our neighbor Malawi managed to hold elections and it went well. Recently, our colleagues from Zambia also did the same and they managed smooth transition in the context of COVID-19 and as Zimbabwe we are also preparing for our own elections in 2023 and already we are in the context of COVID-19,” said Dr. Gumbo
He said ZCC will soon be implementing their plans based on some of the recommendations made during the meeting.
“Certainly we needed to learn from our colleagues how the churches actually participated in those elections and we were supposed to learn from both countries. We needed to learn from our own ecumenical partners for example the council of churches in Malawi and Zambia on how they did it, what they did and what they recommend to Christians in Zimbabwe so we managed to have our colleagues from Zambia and its unfortunate those from Malawi could not make it due to other commitments.
“We had officials from the council of churches in Zambia, the general secretary Father Emmanuel Chikoya who presented sharing what they did as churches, what they did in terms of mobilising their members and raising awareness and advocating for key reforms in the election processes. They were actually assisting us in understanding how we can participate fully in these processes.
“We also wanted to review our own processes in light of what happened in Zambia and Malawi. We also took to reiterate the role of the Church hence the theological reflections that our general secretary did in ensuring that people are able to appreciate their role so in terms of outcomes we are now sitting down to reflect further based on the lessons and recommendations that we got. We are going to implement our plans based on some of the recommendations that we got.” he said.