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CATHOLIC Bishops Monday said they have noted with ‘concern’ that political party slogans in remote areas were known more than the ‘ten commandments’ and the basic ‘social teachings of the Church’.

The coalition of Bishops said this while addressing journalists following last week’s two by-elections which were held in Mount Darwin West and Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituencies.

Zanu PF won both seats by large margins.

The Bishops said they observed that citizens were still not free to vote for a political party of their own choice and urged the civil society to reach out to such areas and educate people about their civil and constitutional rights.

The chairperson of the Church grouping Bishop Alexio Muchabaiwa said they observed that some areas were still no-go areas for some political parties.

“The people we talked to in these areas said they have become too vulnerable to politicians.

“In such areas political slogans are known more than the Ten Commandments, more than the Social teachings of the church and more than the Constitutional rights,” he said.

Muchabaiwa said political victimization was rife in the newly resettled areas where civil society organizations had no access.

“Faith-based institutions and the civil society organizations should move beyond urban and peri-urban areas. And the tertiary institutions and high schools should provide rigorous civic education because “My people perish from lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6), Muchabaiwa said.

The Church leaders suggested that the establishment of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) was going to democratize the country’s politics.

“We are hopeful that the on-going recruitment of the NPRC commissioners and staff members is the beginning of such a process. The Church is willing to be of service to that process”.

Government last week announced that it was going to conduct interviews for the candidates shortlisted to become NPRC commissioners and that was after the civil society had lamented alleged plans by government to abort the birth of the commission.

Source : New Zimbabwe

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