July 31 scare unsettles church: clerics stampede for negotiated settlement among politicians

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ZIMBABWE Council of Churches (ZCC) secretary-general Kenneth Mtata on Monday said affiliate bishops of his organisation will on July 13 invite all the country’s political stakeholders to an indaba.

According to Mtata, the meeting would aim to map the way forward in attempts to find a resolution to Zimbabwe’s current multiple socioeconomic and political dilemmas.

Zimbabwe has ever been mired in serious problems since about two decades ago – with the country perennially on the edge of an implosion since then.

On July 13, bishops will be meeting leaders of political parties for a shared reflection on the current situation and explore possible shared solutions.

Some principals have already confirmed participation,” Mtata said.

The bishop said the meeting among the clergy, politicians and other relevant players would not be open to the public.

This will be a closed-door-meeting, although a public communique will be shared with the media,” Mtata said.

The ZCC secretary-general also said participants were already holding preliminary discussions which he said were aimed at clearing potential huddles.

Multi-lateral pre-meetings are currently underway in preparation for the consultations,” he added.

This is not the first time that Mtata has tried to facilitate a meeting among the country’s political players, in particular between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.

The cleric made such an attempt in May, but his efforts fell flat after Mnangagwa spurned the invitation.

The invitation to a political indaba appears motivated by developments that point to a possible mass demonstration by disgruntled citizens on July 31.

The MDC Alliance, including other political players and civic organisations, have given the proposed demonstration a thumps up.

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