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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

We can’t go back, Christian leaders say after Zimbabwe troops grab power

Church leaders in Zimbabwe called for calm and for an interim government after the military seized power on 15th November.

After meeting in the capital, Harare, the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations called for an interim government to be formed to “oversee the smooth transition to a free and fair election.”

The church leaders, including Fr Frederick Chiromba, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said they wanted to make it clear to the military “that it is their responsibility to ensure that human dignity and rights are respected.”

They also urged people not to spread misinformation, particularly on social media, because it leads to “despondency and fear.”

The Christian leaders said Zimbabwe could use this crisis as an opportunity and called for a national dialogue.

Earlier that day, Zimbabwe’s army seized control of the government, with a spokesman giving assurances on national television that they were “only targeting criminals” around President Robert Mugabe; he said the 93-year-old leader and his family were safe.

Picture: An army tanker blocks the main road to Parliament building on 15th November in Harare, Zimbabwe. (CNS photo/Aaron Ufumeli, EPA).