By Robert Tapfumaneyi
ZIMBABWE Council of Churchs (ZCC) secretary general Reverend Kenneth Mtata says the country’s unity remained fragile, something he said could continue to suppress the economic wellbeing of the nation.
He was speaking to NewZimbabwe.com on the occasion of the country’s Unity Day commemorations Tuesday.
The cleric, whose church has led the push for national dialogue, urged locals to celebrate the efforts of past generations.
He also urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to facilitate comprehensive national dialogue.
“We must however be quick to recognise that we are operating right now at the lowest deficiency of unity and convergence that is required to push this nation to the next level and this is something that’s not so required for investment,” Mtata said.
“It is something that requires investment in humility and in desire to reach out and this is an ingredient that is actually missing in our effort towards economic transformation.
“From the perspective of the church, many efforts have been advanced to say the nation needs to build a certain level of consensus among its stakeholders.
“The approach of the church has been to recognise that unity itself has certain characteristics especially if it is unity that is going to advance progress.”
The ZCC secretary general also said there must first be unity based on recognition that differences are not a threat to national development especially if the differences are allowed to co-exist in an environment of mutual respect.
“For this reason, institutions like the media play a very important role in allowing the co-existence of different ideas and perspectives to interact in the public space,” he said.
“In other words, the public space must be where views are allowed to interact and the best ideas are supposed to be advanced but for that to happen, the public space must be safe and people must be free to do so without fear that their difference will be punished.
“Dialogue is not a sign of weakness, but it is a recognition that if I reach out to the other, some of our ideas are bigger than my individual views.
“This is the reason the church has been advancing process for comprehensive national dialogues, dialogue is a key factor or a key catalyst of strengthening national unity.”
Mtata added, “The church understands itself as a church that is united also in diversity and hence continues to push the agenda of unity in diversity, diversify if not a threat it is a necessary character of unity.”