Gideon Madzikatidze recently in Mwenezi
Opinion leaders have been urged to promote preserve and initiate peace before during and after elections, founder of Kuera Apostolic Church, Bishop Honest Mupepe has said.
Speaking during a week-long workshop on “promoting peace in rural areas and healing of political violence victims among the marginalised and underprivileged” members of the society in Flora (Mwenezi), Bishop Mupepe challenged traditional and opinion leaders to be wary of the consequences that violence inflicts among their subjects.
Bishop Mupepe said, “We are really worried about violence and crimes against humanity that are usually committed by fellow members of our communities and as we are approaching elections I urge all leaders to promote peace, tolerance and co-existence regardless of variation in political ideologies.
He added, “As community leaders, we should educate our subjects on the impact of violence on development and the fact that the general level of economic boom will be retarded. Communities characterised by violence have stunted economic, social and political growth, hence as church and community leadership, we need to preach .
“This workshop should help participants to be well equipped in terms of their freedoms as enshrined in our country’s constitution and also instils confidence among spouses prior to marriage blessings ceremony to be held a date to be announced in the near future. Good foundation in any marriage brings peace and stability of any country and for any development to be realised, there is a need to educate spouses premised on the essence of the holy union and also children raised from a peaceful family background have the potential to transform legion of livelihoods amongst societies.
“Thus from this workshop, it is of paramount importance that we realised attendance from several denominations, opinion leaders, different races coming together, which shows universalism of all, tolerance and co-existence,” Mupepe said.
One of the village heads, Mr Tapiwa Vuka Vuka concurred that communities should constantly engage in transformative dialogue and workshops on peace so as to effect behavioural change in attitudes and perceptions about the role of churches and traditional leaders before, during and after elections.
Vuka Vuka said, “The workshops and dialogues have effected an impressive mood amongst participants and local leaders are now left with great task to enforce prevalence of peace as perennial phenomenon rather than being intermittently spread throughout the country.
“Marriage is sacred hence there is a need for the foundation to be blessed for it to yield positive results and there issue of good marriage foundations to be well achieved. It calls for a multi-sectoral approach which is inclusive rather than selective since it is premised on tolerance and co-existence amongst races as represented here today, we witnessed attendance of the Venda, Kalanga, Ndebele and Shona speaking participants.
“With some of the ideas and information gathered from this workshop and dialogue, we will constantly reinforce the resolutions and make sure that peace will always prevail and we also appeal to our subjects to be responsible during and after elections through keeping their tempers at a normal level whether the part of their choice wins or loses.”
Kuera Apostolic Church’s women’s unit representative, Mrs Berlin Maswere applauded the initiative and described it as a milestone achievement which should be complemented in different rural areas since it was inclusive of all languages and minority cultures were embraced.
“This workshop has brought together several tribes and races. From the teachings, it was inclusive of all races and languages. Moreover, we have been enlightened to several causes of divorce cases,” Maswere said.