A GROUP of clergymen operating under the banner, Christian Voice International Zimbabwe (CVI-Z), has added its voice to growing calls for President Robert Mugabe to step down over “his failed economic policies” and worsening human rights record.
CVI-Z president, Tapfumaneyi Zenda said Zimbabweans had suffered for a long time under Mugabe’s misrule and urged him to step down and stop holding the nation to ransom.
“As long as the President does not want to genuinely repent and to find a notable gesture for the butchered people and the surviving relatives, he continues to hold Zimbabweans to ransom. The honourable thing for him to do is stepping down,” he said in a statement.
Zenda said the role of the church was to act as a neutral mediator to help find lasting solutions for the nation and speaking out against oppression.
He said they were not, by any means, trying to meddle in politics, adding it would be misplaced for people to accuse them of siding with opposition politics.
“That is the mentality that has corrupted our society, that when you speak the truth, you will be labelled opposition. Our message is that let the truth be told as the truth and even the Bible says so. As the church, we are speaking on behalf of the oppressed.”
This comes hard on the heels of repeated calls by opposition parties for Mugabe — who turned 92 in February — to allow for leadership renewal, as the economy continues to nosedive.
On Tuesday, a section of war veterans believed to be aligned to former Vice-President Joice Mujuru also expressed dissatisfaction with Mugabe, saying they no longer supported his candidature for the 2018 elections.
CVI-Z said a lot of human rights abuses had taken place under Mugabe’s watch, particularly the Gukurahundi massacres, Operation Murambatsvina, the economic meltdown and high levels of underdevelopment, poor service delivery, corruption and the missing $15 billion from diamond