Zimbabwe’s Catholic bishops have called for “meaningful, inclusive dialogue” to resolve the country’s economic and political crisis.
In a pastoral letter on Monday, the bishops said many Zimbabweans are living in abject poverty and cases of politically-motivated violence are on the rise ahead of the 2023 elections. They said:
These elections are already being preceded by political intolerance, violence and bloodshed…
What has exacerbated our situation is the economic instability of the country which has brought with it instability in the financial markets resulting in continuous increases in the prices of basic commodities leaving them beyond the reach of the poor.
The bishops also said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s political and economic policies have failed. They said:
If, as Catholic social teaching says, the value of policies is assessed by how they impact the poor, then one can safely say that our political and economic policies have failed.
There is so much dehumanising poverty and despair among our people.
The bishops said only “meaningful, inclusive dialogue” can address the country’s economic and political crisis. They said:
In order to overcome our socio-political and economic challenges, there is a need for a meaningful inclusive dialogue in the country.
If there is a lesson from our synodal journey, it is precisely that we cannot go it alone.
No single political party has all the answers, hence the importance of listening to each other as we journey together.