By Nyasha N Mukapiko
Churches on Friday came out guns blazing following the recent move by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to invoke a statutory instrument which intended to ban demonstrations and threats on the judicial service by President Robert Mugabe.
The ban has since been lifted after Justice Priscilla Chigumba ruled it out as unconstitutional following a High Court challenge by activists who were being represented by Zimbabwe lawyers Tendai Biti and Dzimbabwe Chimbga.
Four different church organisations which included Zimbabwe Devine Destiny (ZDD), Prayer Network of Zimbabwe (PNZ), Christian Alliance and Christian voice addressed a joint press conference in capital Harare.
Bishop Ancellimo Magaya of ZDD who read the statement on behalf of other church organisations said separation of powers was a sacrosanct tenet of any democratic society, urging the executive not to interfere in the administration of justice even in cases when the adjudications don’t favour them.
“Not all determinations will favour Zanu-PF and the President is not leading by example when he undermines the independence of judiciary no wonder why the police have assumed powers beyond their constitutional measure” Bishop Magaya said.
Christian Voice International Rev Clement Zenda said the President had no powers to muzzle the voice of the church and urged the 92 year old leader to listen to what the church says.
“The church is the mother of society and he comes to our churches and we give him Holy Communion meaning we are the fathers. We are the one who are supposed to dictate to him what to say and not him dictating to us what to say. We will not submit to an individual or a party called Zanu-PF but to the constitution of this country” Rev Zenda said.
Responding to a question from the media whether the church was not in fear of the regime after leader of #ThisFlag Pastor Evan Mawarire fled the country to seek refuge in the United States, daring bishop Magaya said they were not afraid of anything quoting a bible verse from 1John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world”.
Two months ago President Mugabe told man of cloth to put their focus on studying the bible and desist from interfering in politics.
Early this year bishop Magaya bemoaned the laxity on some churches and revealed plans to train pastors so that they can get involved in the countries democratic processes.
Mugabe is slowly losing it as he has previously used the church to garner political support, contributing him to win the previously much disputed elections.
Meanwhile ZRP has already pulled another shocker about their intention to ban demonstration again starting Friday this week until October. Opposition political parties have indicated its plans to the decision at courts.
By Nyasha N Mukapiko