In a communiqué entitled The Zimbabwe We Want – Taking the Process Forward, ZHCD said they had noted political intolerance and gaps in failure to implement the Constitution, as well as weakened rule of law in the country.
ZHCD is made up of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference, Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Council of Churches and Union for the Development of Apostolic and Zionist Churches in Zimbabwe.
“The current political landscape in Zimbabwe is characterised by polarisation, intolerance to opposing political views and ideologies, intra and inter-party fighting and succession issues, further weakening the political discourse,” ZHCD said.
“We recommend that there be a leadership renewal across the board and for increased political accountability, as well as for the Executive to adhere to the rule of law for the removal of political patronage and factionalism.”
On the economic front, ZHCD said recovery was severely challenged by reduced industrial productivity, poor delivery of basic social services at local level and corruption that had escalated to the point where it was affecting aggregate economic growth.
“Immediate steps need to be taken by the Executive to improve the economy, reduce poverty, improve international relations, reduce, repay and restructure debt, increase the capacity to borrow, support the informal sector and create genuine wealth,” the heads of Christian denominations said.
They said lack of accountability and corruption had gradually become endemic at all levels of Zimbabwean society, where individuals in positions of trust were excessively abusing their positions for personal gain, meaning that resources meant for the poor or for the common good were not being used appropriately. “There is need for the Land Commission to be perationalised and to conduct a land audit that should be published,” the communiqué read.
“As churches, we have repeatedly supported land redistribution, but the land redistribution process has not been transparent, orderly, nor followed jubilee principles which favour the poor and has not yet resulted in efficient use of the land benefiting the population at large.”
On legal issues, they said some contentious pieces of legislation continued to exist in the country’s statute books, with the Public Order and Security Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act being of particular concern.