Zimbabwe's church leaders have called on the people to overcome their fear and use next month's election to "kick out evil and replace it with peace and prosperity." Speaking at an interchurch national prayer meeting for a peaceful election, in Harare on Sunday, Catholic Bishop Patrick Mutume said: "We are at fault because we put evil people into power. Why are we rewarding evil? Election time is not for rewarding evil. Why do we allow those we give power to in turn use that power to suppress us? It means we are failing because if we were enlightened, we would not be in our current situation. Why can't we vote for justice if we are enlightened as a nation?" Mutume lamented that the country had fallen from being a beacon of hope at independence in 1980 to a cowed nation without the freedom, justice or peace that thousands of Zimbabweans died fighting for during the country's bitter 1970s war of liberation. He said: "We thought by finishing the struggle for independence we will get peace. But then why are we still praying for peace and justice? If we had the chance to ask our fallen heroes whether this is the Zimbabwe they fought for, they will say no, because they fought for peace, freedom and justice. But Zimbabweans everywhere are living in fear because they are threatened and intimidated into submission. We are yet to enjoy the gains of liberation." Methodist Church in Zimbabwe Bishop Cephas Mukandi reminded ruling Zanu PF party parliamentarians and members of its inner politburo cabinet of their Christian upbringing and appealed to them to accept the opposition. The country would remain an international outcast if the March ballot was marred by violence and murder as was the case with previous elections in 2000 and 2002, Mukandi said. He said: "The majority of our MPs, cabinet ministers and politburo members of the ruling party claim to be Christian. But then if that is the case, then who is involved in beating up people and the destruction of property and life? It would be foolhardy for any politician to think that the whole country could belong to one political party." Source: ZWonline
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