HARARE, SEPTEMBER 27, 2019 (CISA)-Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference has urged leaders in Zimbabwe to implement reforms proposed by the international community in order to rescue the country from devastating effects of sanctions.
“The impact of the adverse effects of sanctions is still being studied, but over the past twenty years, given the number of people who have died from lack of adequate medicines, food, maternal deaths, etc, one can only conclude that the impact has been devastating,” the bishops said in a statement released September 22.
According to the bishops, the sanctions were mainly imposed because of the fast-track land reforms that were done in Zimbabwe, and not because the main political parties do not get along.
“All the stakeholders, both local and international, need to speak the truth in charity, address the real issues and not hide behind a finger,” they said.
The bishops urged political leaders to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors and pay attention to re-engagement.
“Now also is the time for the Government to show magnanimity by extending its hand in reaching out to all its citizens, regardless of political affiliation, race, gender or ethnicity to seek consensus on the way forward,” they said.
The bishops believe that, “Zimbabwe We Want,” discussion document, launched by the late former President Robert Mugabe in 2006 will create a shared national vision, political tolerance, national healing and reconciliation, eliminating corruption and addressing land and economic challenges.
“President R. G. Mugabe has also left us a legacy of political dialogue. If he could talk to Mr. M. Tsvangirai and come to a settlement, surely the successors of these opponents, for the good of the nation, can do the same,” the bishops said.
“We call for genuine dialogue at various levels of society, apart from the political dialogue. It is only in genuine meeting of hearts that we can tolerate each other and have a lasting solution to our problems,” they said.
The bishops proposed finalization of the land question, which according to them, “…has been the most emotive national question that has left our nation highly polarised.
Now is the time to galvanise all our energies to bring finality to this vexatious issue in a manner that heals the wounds of the past years,” they said urging the government to reach out to its citizens to seek consensus on the way forward.