Catholic bishops urge Zim to dialogue as post elections rift widens

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By Alois Vinga

THE Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) has urged the country’s political leaders to prioritise the country’s future by dialoguing in the wake of a widening post elections rift which experts fear may complicate the country’s economy if it goes unabated.

The Southern Africa nation held polls on August 23 and 24 in which President Emmerson Mnangagwa was announced the winner with 52,6% ahead of main contender Nelson Chamisa’s Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) who polled 44% of the vote.

The polls were roundly condemned by local and foreign observer missions for once again failing the litmus test of free, fair and credible electoral standards.

Chamisa immediately rejected the entire process describing it as flawed and tilted towards propping up Mnangagwa to victory.

Despite the outcry Mnangagwa pressed ahead with his inauguration last week subsequently followed by the swearing in of Vice Presidents, Parliament and Local Authorities amid expectations that Cabinet will be sworn in this week.

ZCBC President Bishop Paul Horan O’Carm

Events in Harare signify the tale of a nation continuously falling apart with such a rift widening each time polls are held.

Economic experts have since warned that if unabated, the situation risks plunging the economy into deeper crisis worsening poverty levels of an already struggling populace.

Harare has been battling to gain investor confidence since the turn of the millennium but the dispute around the just ended polls may frustrate such efforts.

ZCBC president Bishop Paul Horan O’Carm at the weekend told the Vatican News after meeting Pope Francis in Rome on the need for political leaders “ to listen to each other.”

“We hope we can suggest to our government and political leaders to encourage them to listen to each other, to dialogue, to see what the best way forward for the country is.

“People are hardworking and want the opportunity to use their talents within the country. Unfortunately, many Zimbabweans have to leave Zimbabwe to find employment outside the country.

“We hope that this trend will come to an end so that all our young people, talented young people, may have an opportunity to fulfil their talents and provide for their families within our own country,” said the ZCBC President.

Horan also revealed that during the ZCBC visit to Rome which began last week Monday, the clergymen took the opportunity to pray for Mnangagwa for the Lord to assist him in serving the nation over the coming years.