Bishop Rudolf Nyandoro of Gweru Diocese. Bishop Rudolf Nyandoro of Gweru Diocese. 

As Zimbabweans vote, Bishops call for peaceful and non-violent elections.

Zimbabweans go to the polls in General elections scheduled for 23 August 2023 to elect the President and Members of both houses of Parliament. The Bishops say citizens need to exercise their right to vote as a matter of duty.

Paul Samasumo - Vatican City.

On 23 August 2023, Zimbabwe is conducting General elections with a possible run-off scheduled for 2 October if no Presidential candidate reaches 50% in the first round.

Voting is a national duty

In a pre-election Statement released on the eve of elections, at a press conference in the capital, Harare, the Bishop of Gweru Catholic Diocese and Justice and Peace Chairperson under the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference, Rudolf Nyandoro made a passionate plea for peaceful elections. 

“The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC), through its social arm of justice and peace, would like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to go and vote peacefully. Voting, in our view, is a duty for all to contribute to the common good of our beloved nation. As ZCBC, we believe that voting is an opportunity for everyone to directly participate in the governance of our country,” said the Gweru prelate.

Continue being tolerant and respectful 

Polling Station in Warren Park, Harare, Zimbabwe - 22 August 2023
Polling Station in Warren Park, Harare, Zimbabwe - 22 August 2023

According to political observers and analysts, post-results violence depends on how comfortable the ruling party will be with the final results. In the meantime, Zimbabwe’s Bishops will be praying with bated breath that their words for non-violent elections find receptive ears, especially among politicians and party cadres of all political parties.

“We pray for peaceful elections. Remember that there is life before, during and after elections. We, therefore, call upon all voters to respect the electoral processes. Dear Zimbabweans, we humbly ask you to continue to be tolerant, to be respectful and to be peaceful during voting and after the announcement of the election results,” said Bishop Nyandoro. 

He added, “As a Church, we believe that peaceful and non-violent elections are the only legitimate way to seek support for public offices. We have made strides in growing to be a democratic country, and we strongly encourage a peaceful environment because human life is sacred,” said the Bishop. 

A contest is between ZANU- PF and CCC 

Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), led by Nelson Chamisa, have the daunting task of trying to dislodge the incumbent President, Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ZANU-PF party –in power for more than forty years. This week’s elections will be the second after long-time President Robert Mugabe was forced out of power in 2017. 

According to the 2018 election results, ZANU-PF’s Mnangagwa garnered 52.3% of the total vote sustained mainly by votes in rural areas. Chamisa’s opposition party got 44%.

Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference say they have deployed 1 500 election observers across the country.


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22 August 2023, 22:04