EDITOR — I write in response to your last week article titled Churches call on Mugabe to resign . This is a move in the right direction by the churches as previously the media was always coming up with programmes that criticised the Church for being involved in politics.
The unexpected statements by the Church marks a radical departure from their usual quiet diplomacy towards local politics.
Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ) and the influential Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) among others said Zimbabwe deserved leaders who had the interests of the people at heart. This is true and right to the point.
The Church should be extremely concerned by the country’s deteriorating economic conditions, characterised by a biting cash shortage, food price increases and rising unemployment.
The Church represents the voice of the people, especially the poor and the marginalised.
The church has the right to freedom of expression as is recognised and protected by human rights under the Constitution and various international human instruments to which Zimbabwe is a State party to.
The Constitution, states that everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference and everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression.
In my view, the Church should engage in politics. I am convinced that God is calling more clergymen into politics.
The political office is a proper place to do public theology and enlarge the ministry to benefit the Church and the community they serve.
Civic engagement makes it ever more important that our country should figure out, how to mix religion and politics in a way that respects constitutional principles and democratic values.
The word “Church” is the same as “Ecclesia” and this is a “political” word.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu said in the thick of the battle against apartheid, “When people say that the Bible and politics don’t mix, I ask them which Bible they are reading.” In the Old Testament, we see Daniel and Joseph serving God in the office of the “president”.