Between March and April 2018 the Zimbabwe Council of Churches invited leaders and laity from its member congregations to discuss their hopes, aspirations and expectations for the 2018 Harmonised Elections. What transpired were honest, objective and at times painful discussions around a subject that has done more to divide than unite the people of Zimbabwe. Nevertheless, Christians everywhere dared to hope and elected to contribute to the possibility of a blessed election period, one without political violence and beneficial to the progress of the nation. They see and some still need convincing that in the national dialogue and debate that is occasioned by this election lies an important opportunity for Zimbabwe to find better ways to pursue a more just, equitable and prosperous future. This, as the Psalmist dares us to believe for Zimbabwe, ‘You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.’
We are inspired by a pleasant precedent of the positive role of elections done in the right spirit from the book of Acts 6v3: ‘Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men (and by inference women too) of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.’ With this in mind we have not spared any effort to educate, mobilise and encourage Christians everywhere to be the salt and the light, making their voices heard, promoting peace and asking important questions. For so we pray. For so we vote.
The outcomes of these dialogues were captured in the form of Ecumenical Election Covenants to demonstrate not only the Christian community’s unity of purpose but willingness to proactively and constructively influence the 2018 harmonised. The future of the nation depends on how we choose to carry out the 2018 harmonised elections, what we are willing to tolerate and what we shall be able to stand up against. Thus the Covenants from 33 different locations universally condemn electoral violence, promote electoral reforms, desire issue based electoral politics based on substantive dialogue, prefer a more open media and most importantly emphasise the need for urgent attention to address poor service delivery, unemployment, water, roads, healthcare and housing.
We shall now set about conducting Ecumenical Launch Services in all the locations where Ecumenical Election Covenants have been developed. We intend during these services to prayerfully commit the elections to the Lord and ask Him to guide and protect all the men and women tasked to supervise and coordinate this important work. At the same time we shall pray for God to give us wisdom in selecting the men and women to be tasked to carry the nation forward as President, Parliamentarians, Senators and Councillors. Ecumenical Launch Services kick off in Bindura on the 19th of April at the Reformed Church in Zimbabwe, whilst the National Launch Service is scheduled for 3 May at the Anglican Cathedral in Harare.
Detailed listings of upcoming services, speakers and FAQs are available on the I Pray I Vote website www.iprayivote.co.zw
For further comments please contact:
Rev Dr Kenneth Mtata
Zimbabwe Council of Churches
27 St Patricks’ Road, Hatfield |Harare | Zimbabwe
Tel: +263 4 572 122 or 573 073 | Mobile: +263 713 010 847
E-mail: email@example.com |Web: www.zcc-eco.org
Source: Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC)