Roman Catholic Bishop of Gweru diocese, Xavier Munyongani, has criticized Catholic professionals and public officials who engage in corrupt activities that have destroyed the Zimbabwean economy and societal values. He was addressing a group of Catholic professionals who were gathered at the cathedral hall in Gweru over the last weekend for the launch of the Gweru chapter of the Catholic Professionals Network of Zimbabwe (CPNZ).
He also challenged the government and the President, Robert Mugabe, to allow his faith to direct his work.
“When I was in Rome recently, the President and his wife were also in Rome for the beautification of Pope Paul IV. The whole world (seeing that), gets the impression that he is a very holy man, brought up by the Jesuits. When you tell other people that he is the same man presiding over our misery, they may dismiss you as someone who is ungrateful. But if his faith is guiding him, then it should be seen in the way he leads us.
“Julius Nyerere (former Tanzania president), at Independence in 1980 told him that you have inherited a jewel, if you run this country it is going to be a jewel of Africa. And Julius Nyerere is about to be made a saint from Africa.”
For the former President, Nyerere, as a public servant and professional, allowed his faith to direct his life and actions, including the way he ran his family and country.
The Bishop said corruption affects everyone in society, including innocent children. He cited the recent leaks that affected the public examinations board, and forcing innocent students who had spent precious time studying and preparing for their exams, now, to endure more anxious moments as they to re-seat the leaked papers.
He challenged Catholic professionals wherever they work to stand up against corruption and make a difference, warning them as well that they will always face resistance but they should neither withdraw nor surrender because God is always on the side of those who do well.
“You will always face public resistance when you want to be principled. People may jeer or reject you altogether, but you have to be strong and steadfast.
“It is possible to change the world even when you are in the minority. Remember the story of slavery and how it was abolished? It took the extraordinary efforts of one man, William Wilberforce to turn the world against slavery. That is still possible today. We need Catholic professionals, who are grounded in principle, and through their actions, want to change the world for the better.”