Pastors4ED call for sanctions removal
Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor
As Zimbabwe and the region commemorate the SADC Anti-Sanctions Day today, Pastors for Economic Development (Pastors4ED) have added their voices in calling for the immediate and unconditional lifting of sanctions.
This came out during a one-day conference over the weekend, which also saw the launch of the Harare Pastors4ED chapter.
Pastors4ED founding chairperson, Evangelist Idirashe Dongo, told The Herald yesterday that their conference ran under the theme, “A PrayED 4 and SupportED leader delivers”.
She said they will always stand guided by the scripture, especially Romans 13: 1 to 6, which mandates followers of Christ to submit to ordained leaders of the land they live in.
The launch was attended by 480 members of the clergy from different churches in Harare and Chitungwiza.
“On the issue of the punitive and illegally imposed sanctions, Pastors4ED called for their removal because they are causing unnecessary suffering of the masses,” said Evangelist Dongo.
“According to the 2022 census statistics, 85 percent of the masses of Zimbabwe are Christians, hence the call from churches under the banner, Pastors4ED, for the removal of sanctions.”
The illegal sanctions have throttled Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector, resulting in many people losing jobs. Companies that have remained operational say they are struggling to access affordable lines of credit and spare parts, stifling their operations.
Citizens that have lost their jobs have crossed into neighbouring countries, mainly South Africa in search for jobs.
Others have gone as far as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and other countries, to look for jobs and fend for their families. In 2019, SADC member States resolved to declare October 25 as the day of action against the sanctions.
At the recent 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, the US was reportedly shocked by the unequivocal condemnation of the illegal sanction by African Presidents and others from the progressive world.
Meanwhile, during the Pastors4ED weekend conference, the issue of drug and substance abuse also under discussion.
The pastors called on the Government to vigorously fight all suppliers of drugs to ensure children live proper lives.
“If the church remains quiet, we may be late and find a generation wiped away by drugs. We are, therefore, calling for clean streets,” said Evangelist Dongo.
With the 7th Zanu PF National Peoples’ Congress set to begin tomorrow in Harare, Pastors4ED took advantage of their conference to endorse President Mnangagwa’s leadership beyond 2023.
Evangelist Dongo said the servants of God demonstrated total commitment to the cause of the organisation by financing their travel to attend the conference, buying their own regalia and food.
The Pastors4ED database now has 8 000 men of the cloth from across the country’s 10 provinces.
Pastors4ED has a national executive structure comprising 20 members, and this is replicated up to ward level.
Evangelist Dongo said Pastors4ED is “leaving no servant of God and no church behind”, hence the strong representation from all Christian organisations such as Catholics, Pentecostals and Apostolic sects.