Register to vote; desist from violence- ZCBC message on 2018 elections

 

 

The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishop’s Conference (ZCBC) has released a pastoral letter ahead of Zimbabwe’s 2018 National elections encouraging people to register to vote and appealing to the government to start voter education immediately.

The pastoral letter titled Elections, Peace and Development was published on Pentecost Sunday, 4 June exhorts the people of Zimbabwe to respect one another and mirror in words and actions, the love of God.

Zimbabwe is preparing for National elections to be held in 2018.

In the letter, the Catholic shepherds challenged the government of Zimbabwe to ensure that all electoral responsibilities, as stated in the constitution be implemented.

 

They called for immediate voter education and registration.

The country’s electoral body, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is yet to announce the dates for voter registration under the new Biometric Voter Registration system which is to be introduced.

At a time when political differences may be felt more intensely than ever, the bishops preached tolerance noting that differences are not a threat to democracy.

 

“We all know, that this election will, like others, be contested by different people from us and holding different views. This is not a threat to democracy and peace but rather the every lifeblood of it.”

“Intolerance of each other will block our progress.”

The letter challenges all Catholics to play an active part in the election.

“In this pre-election period, we may hear many promises. They will be straws in the wind if we, the people, simply sit and wait.”

“Today our struggle is not with arms and violence but with ourselves, our own fearful hearts. There is no need for violence. “

 “There is not a person in Zimbabwe who does not want growth and a better life for their children. But it will not happen unless we become engaged in the struggle to make it happen,” read the statement.

While voting for any particular political candidate remains a matter of conscience and individual’s choice, the bishops called the people to use their vote to “select capable men and women” who fear God, are trustworthy and hate dishonest gain.

Following a series of political violence cases reported in the country’s previous elections, the Bishop’s letter emphasise on the need to avoid violence and ‘reporting any human rights violations.

The letter signed by all bishops lead by the conference’s President, Rt Rev. Michael Bhasera concluded with a prayer for Zimbabwe’s peace, development and communion.

 

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