ZIMBABWE: Bishops Call for Peaceful End to Political Standoff

HARARE NOVEMBER 21, 2017(CISA) – The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) has asked the Zimbabwe defence forces and the political leadership in the country to put the Country’s interests first as they negotiate on ending the ongoing stalemate in the country.

“Let us be mindful of the fact that besides those who took action and those involved in the ongoing delicate process, the entire population is concerned about the process as well as the future of the country,” they said in a statement sent to CISA on November 19.

This statement comes after the military undertook an operation on November 15 to oust leaders close to President Mugabe accused of sending the country into an economic crisis.

In their statement, the bishops asked independent organizations in the country to work in synergy and ensure those purported to have caused the economic crisis in the country face the law.

“Let us take note that those accused of crimes must at all times be accorded due process and protection of the law and that the role of the civil courts and independent arbiters continues unhindered as per the constitution and as promised by the Zimbabwe defence forces,” the bishops said.

In an event that an interim government is formed, they recommend that its leadership should embrace democracy as a suitable measure to normalize the situation in the country.

“The governance of Zimbabwe in any transition that may be adopted must embrace all Zimbabweans in their oneness. The nation needs to develop a culture of free and fair elections, referenda and consultations,” they said.

The bishops have asked citizens to shun incidences that are likely to provoke violence in the country.

“We ask that everyone exercises great restraint and patience in these tense times and that the people refrain from all lawlessness or any mass action that might worsen the situation,” they added.

Pressure has been mounting on President Mugabe to resign and pave way for a peaceful transition of power after the military action on November 15.