Christian Aid’s Country manager Nicholas Shamano, has said that Christian leaders have a huge role to play in restoring peace and influencing the policy direction of Zimbabwe.
He made this known during the just concluded Zimbabwean general election which led to the emergence of Emmerson Mnangagwa as the second president of the second Republic of Zimbabwe, after many years of political subjugation by the formal president Robert Mugabe.
This is the first election after the ousting of Mugabe, a leader of the struggle against white rule who superintended decades of political tyranny, and economic breakdown in a once-well-to-do country.
Zimbabwe is largely a Christian country and a large population (about 80 per cent) go to church at least once a month. Faith leaders are really respected and their role is also to help to inform or influence policy direction, and to help to hold leadership to account for their actions and for the decisions being made.
At Christian Aid we do believe that there is space and scope for faith leaders to influence society, and they have that pulling power to do so. Faith leaders stand on a high moral ground, so when they call for certain issues that affect people to be addressed, somebody is bound to listen. They are not political opponents in such instances, and they are viewed as objective, so it really helps.’
Christian Aid partners like the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) have been ‘influencing the agenda beyond the elections, on issues around national peace and reconciliation, and peace-building and addressing the socio-economic situation’.
For instance, the economy and infrastructure are big issues for the Zimbabwean context. Unemployment is high, there are cash shortages, and investment is quite low at the moment. We are facing issues relating to corporate governance, basic infrastructure, the capacity of institutions to deliver major services: these are some of the major gaps that people in Zimbabwe would want to see being addressed-Nicholas Shamano.
News source-Christian Today.