ZIMBABWEAN churches have urged government to be transparent in its operations and not pay lip service to the fight against corruption and other vices which are militating against socio-economic development.
By Owen Gagare
This was said during engagements between the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC), state officials and leaders of opposition political parties which began on October 30. The dialogue is continuing. General Secretary of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches Dr Solomon Zwana said the churches would continue engaging political leaders in a bid to plug polarity and ensure progressive policies in the post July 31-elections era.
So far ZCC has held meetings with, among others, Information minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, Indigenisation minister Francis Nhema, MDC-T deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma, MDC secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa, as well as officials from government ministries.
Zwana said church leaders have been telling government officials they want accountability to the populace, a desire to fight corruption, efficiency in the civil service and halting of all forms of discrimination.
“On accountability, the church leaders are saying the government should work closely with the people. When they develop policies, those policies should be owned by the people and in turn they should listen to the people’s wishes,” said Zwana.
“The church leaders also want the government to be transparent in the discharge of its duties. For example, issues to do with diamond mining are shrouded in secrecy. On corruption, there seems to be a lack of seriousness in tackling the scourge. We have heard a lot of pronouncements but we are yet to see real action. We need less rhetoric and more action.
“Whatever action has been taken against corruption has been targeted at small fish and yet high-level corruption is rampant. The church leaders want the government to be sincere in the fight against corruption.”
Zwana said church leaders were also concerned about the preferential treatment being given to the Chinese and warned the country risked being recolonised.