By Odiwuor Opiyo
HARARE, NOVEMBER 4, 2022 (CISA) – Caritas Zimbabwe has commemorated its Golden Jubilee in a colourful ceremony held at Silveira House in Chishawasha on November 3.
The event brought together religious and political leaders, among them the Apostolic Nuncio to Zimbabwe His Excellency Archbishop Paolo Rudelli, Rt Rev Paul Horan, the president of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC) and bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Mutare, Rt Rev Raymond Tapiwa Mupandasekwa, vice president of the ZCBC and bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Chinhoyi, as well as Rt Rev Raphael Macebo Mabuza Ncube, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Hwange. Hon Dr Constantine D.G.N Chiwenga, the Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe also attended as the guest of honour.
In his keynote address, Dr Chiwenga lauded the efforts of the entity in its fifty years of existence in the country, thanking the Catholic Church at large for its role in humanitarian assistance and integral development over the years.
“Caritas has been working in Zimbabwe through its countrywide networks and partnerships bringing about empowered, resilient communities across the country regardless of ethnicity, race, creed, political and most important religious affinity,” said Dr Chiwenga.
Dr Chiwenga also congratulated Caritas Zimbabwe for meeting the requirements of its registration as a public voluntary organisation at a time when the government of Zimbabwe has red-flagged other NGOs for digressing from their core mandate of promoting development and instead, involving themselves in politics.
“As a government, we are pleased with the level of compliance and urge other organisations to emulate Caritas,” he added.
Caritas Zimbabwe was founded by the then Rhodesian Catholic Bishops Conference (RCBC) in 1972, initially as the Commission for Social Services and Development (C.S.S.D) to carry out social work in the Church. As the focus of its work shifted from social welfare to development, the organization was renamed Catholic Development Commission (CADEC) in 1984.
Today, Caritas Zimbabwe’s mandate includes integral human development, emergency relief, advocacy, peace building, respect for human rights, and support for proper stewardship of the planet’s environment and resources.