Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) says the proposed suspension of the electoral process for seven years is now gaining traction with some Zimbabweans now supporting the idea.
In October, the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOD) approached leading political parties and politicians proposing “a national seven-year Sabbath for the purposes of establishing an emergency recovery mechanism to address the dire national situation for the most vulnerable communities, re-building trust and confidence by healing all the hurts of the past.”
The proposal received widespread criticism from a cross-section of Zimbabweans who described it as unconstitutional.
Speaking during a ZCC Post Budget consultative meeting in Bulawayo on Tuesday, ZCC coordinator, Melody Masunda said some people are now warming up to the idea.
“At the moment we are getting positive feedback than in the beginning when it was actually aired out in the country there was some negative criticism about it.
“Some people tweeted and ministers said harsh words against it but now we are getting positive comments, people are getting to buy in the idea,” said Masunda.
She said the Sabbath proposal was a call for the suspension of elections in Zimbabwe as it was noted that people are usually on election mode.
“So it was sort of a proposal to say let’s try to get the people and different organisations in our country to move out of the election mode so that they can look at these issues that are affecting the country,” said Masunda.
She added that their main focus at the moment is the national dialogue process and coming up with measures to bring everyone on board.
“Our main focus right now is on the national dialogue, we saw the need to bring everyone on board as we need the voices of everyone to be on the table,” said the coordinator.
Masunda added that every national political dialogue that has occurred in Zimbabwe has left out the voices of people.
“You will see that ever since the beginning of dialogues in Zimbabwe, Lancaster House conference, Unity Accord, and the GNU, you will notice that these dialogues they never involved the people.
“Those on the high table were leaders of different organisations and political parties. People were not part of the process so as part of the national cohesion strategy we are trying to say let the church and civil organisations have one voice to what the national dialogue should look like and involve everyone,” she said.
“We are looking at three pillars that are the national cohesion where we want to come together as people of Zimbabwe and do these processes with one voice. Constitutionalism, yes the constitution is there but some of our laws are not in tandem with the provisions so there is a need for that to be brought together.
“Economic relations we are saying in all these economic issues that are happening in the country let there not be someone left behind because everyone is involved as the economy is affecting everyone,” said Masunda.