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Tourism and peace work hand in glove: churches

by Byron Adonis Mutingwende
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Tourism transcends humankind and political affiliation across the borders and it unites nations and different cultures so it is the best conduit for peace, church leaders have said.

“We thank Dr Karikoga Kaseke and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) for spearheading the Zimbabwe Peace Festival 2018. At the festival Christians united for the same purpose, for peace and tolerance as people of Zimbabwe,” said Bishop Gift Marufu of the Federation of Indigenous Churches in Zimbabwe .

He said the gesture by the government of opening up to the international community where the recent elections were held in an open , free and fair atmosphere despite skirmishes that followed afterwards was a welcome development in the promotion of peace.

The Zimbabwe is open for business mantra by President Emmerson Mnangangwa gives credence to the fact that for any meaningful development in any country, there is need for peace,” Bishop Marufu said.

While emphasising the fact that Christians should not meddle in politics, Reverend George Manongwa of the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe urged other church leaders to preach the gospel of peace while teaching congregants that leaders are from God and are chosen by God in accordance with Romans 13: 1-5 in the Bible.

Rev Manongwa said it was critical to uphold the preaching of peace now and even after the outcome of the court case set for Wednesday 22 August 2018 despite in whose favour the Constitutional Court judgement will be.

“As Zimbabweans, we are all brethren, as in Psalm 133, which says, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is, for brethren to dwell together in UNITY.” So I would like to urge all of us as Zimbabweans to be united and to dwell in peace.

“We would also like appeal to those of us in the social media not to cause confusion or divide us or cause disunity among the people of Zimbabwe by spreading and peddling lies in the social media. Social media is a source of propaganda and unverified stories which has the effect of tearing the social and cultural fabric. The media is a strong tool of communication, but if this is misused, it may cause great harm among the people and our nation. So let us all be God fearing and upright in everything we do,” he said.

In the same vein, Rev Kingdom Nyika of the Church of Zimbabwe warned people against abuse of Christians and Christianity to push their own agendas.

“We also want to take this opportunity to also speak to the International Community that, we should be united. We have to work together for the betterment of our people. Let us do away with sanctions, let us speak with one voice against sanctions. We are brothers and sisters, we can work together to improve our lives and live harmoniously in the eyes of God without accusing each and calling for unwarranted sanctions which has a ripple effect on our lives as Zimbabweans.

“We call upon all Political parties involving foreigners in our internal matters which we believe we can resolve internally. We are also going to lobby our International Community to embrace Zimbabwe and advocate for removal of these harmful sanction,” Rev Nyika said.

Apostle Nesbert Mapfumo of Triumph Ministries urged the incoming government to continue with the anti-corruption crusade.

“As we may be aware corruption is a cancer that can destroy our beloved nation. We also pledge to support the new government in its endeavour to rebuild our nation economically through various economic empowerment and opening of industry is key to this end.

“Lastly, we as Christians (Churches and Organisations), we urge all the people of our nation to be peaceful and advocate for rebuilding our country Zimbabwe. We urge everyone to desist from all forms of violence, hate speech and inflammatory statements. We are a peace loving nation, let us be united in God’s love and also love one another despite gender, race or political affiliation. That is what God advocates for within his peopl,” Apostle Mapfumo said..

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