SENIOR STAFF WRITER
ZANU PF’s politburo yesterday dismissed as malicious claims by Catholic bishops in the country that the government was carrying out human rights abuses and instilling fear among the populace, the Daily News reports.
This comes as the bishops issued a pastoral letter last week, saying the country, under President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, was suffering from “a multi-layered crisis” — including economic collapse, deepening poverty, corruption and human rights abuses.
Addressing the media after an ordinary meeting of the politburo in Harare yesterday, Zanu PF acting spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa told off the bishops.
“The politburo endorsed the president’s response to a few bishops whose letter has been discredited as disrespectful, malicious and pandering to the narrative of the splitting MDCs. The politburo laughed them off and advised them that if they are tired of reading Bibles and preaching godly principles of peace, love and unity, then they are well within their rights to join politics openly rather than seek to do so nicodemously, hiding behind the Cross of Christ.
“We know that Catholic members felt misrepresented by this selfish elite cleric band. Again, indigenous churches have dismissed that letter as ungodly, biased and disrespectful.”
Chinamasa said the politburo asked why the bishops have been “silent each time the civil society groups and the MDC Alliance embark on violent protests, burning shops, arson police vehicles, looting and harassing citizens”.
“Does the Bible they read teach them to preach violence or glorify it? We have never seen anywhere in the world where opposition groups have a right to express themselves violently. They have remained mum on the impact of sanctions to this economy and only themselves know why they have chosen that route,” Chinamasa said.
“The politburo also noted the coordinated and systematic social media attacks of the nation by faceless social media robots and ghost accounts meant to spread falsehoods against the situation in our country.
“The politburo assured our people to never lose sleep over those falsehoods and attacks, knowing fully well that the party and government are very vigilant and focused on fulfilling the 2018 manifesto despite the harsh conditions.
There is no crisis in Zimbabwe. Covid19 is all over.”
Meanwhile, Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi last night also trashed the bishops’ pastoral letter as based on false information circulated on social media.
Ziyambi said the bishops had failed to do their homework before issuing the pastoral letter.