Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) through the Gweru Local Ecumenical Fellowship (LEFs) compiled a document titled, the Gweru Ecumenical Election Covenant (GEEC) in effort to set standard of expected leadership in the upcoming by-elections in March 2022. In the GEEC, the church indicates the desired leaders in terms of personal attributes and policy issues that the contestants were going to take once they take leadership roles. ZCC has always participated in influencing policy making process and decision-making in government, hence with the GEEC document, the church leaders are taking part in prompting political leaders to come up with policies that are in line with the Zimbabwe Constitutional provisions.
Gweru LEFs urged aspiring candidates to work towards improving the people’s standards of living noting that, “We need leaders who can liberate our people from poverty, joblessness, poor service delivery and an ever-decreasing standard of living.’’ Speaking at the same event some of the faith leaders’ denounced political violence and vote buying saying that, “We implore political parties to shun vote buying antics. Let the people judge you by your vision and ideas, we condemn all forms of violence including intimidation, issuing of threats and surveillance”.
The Church leaders also added that they stand united by a common desire to contribute and support constructive initiatives to ensure the realization of a free, fair, transparent, peaceful and credible elections in Mkoba Constituency, Gweru urban Ward 2 and in Zimbabwe in general.
To add, in an effort to affirm the right to vote and to encourage citizens to participate in electoral processes, ZCC through its member Churches and structures launched the #IPrayIVote campaign. The campaign is hinged on four pillars which are electorate mobilization, agenda setting, election observation and post-election envisioning. The campaign has been playing a pivotal role in educating the citizens, informing and giving updates on contesting candidates using social media platforms. Hence, the GEEC is a product of the agenda setting pillar.
The IPrayIVote campaign has been running under the guidelines of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) which stipulates how voter education should be conducted. In their Covenant, the Church also called other stakeholders such as the security sector, Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC), the media and judiciary to faithfully, independently and diligently execute their constitutional mandate in a non-partisan and professional manner.
Source: Zimbabwe Council of Churches