Bishop Magaya held a press briefing at Media Center,on behalf of the Church’s Convergence On Peace to address the August 1 shootings.

The Church has been greatly involved in the political arena as they advocated for peace during the election period. Although the church has been accused of being apolitical, 2018 has seen a number of church leaders taking part in the promoting peace.

Despite the frantic efforts of the church, Zimbabwe experienced a heinous terror on 1 August 2018. This could reflect that political leaders only signed multiple peace pledges because they had no option. Maybe they were forced by circumstances otherwise faced by a completely different scenario they wouldn’t have.

Church condemns the 1 August shootings

Bishop Magaya highlighted that the church is greatly concerned with the reckless shooting of unarmed civilians. He added that the church is demanding to know why the army took such a decision. Magaya accused the army of being insensitive.  This was a result of the fact that the army shot aimlessly without first indicating that they had failed to control the masses. Magaya clearly indicated that this was state-sponsored violence which was uncalled for. He added that this day only reminded the citizens of the 2008 terror. Magaya went on to describe that this dark day reflects that Zimbabwe can be anything as it experienced a blood purge right after ‘peaceful elections’.

Magaya stated that even the Commander in Chief, Mnangagwa and his right-hand men Sibanda and Chiwenga do not want any association to this day. He added that to date no one amongst these three has admitted that he gave that command. Magaya pointed out that the Church will not tolerate the power games by politicians. He added that Mnangagwa must own up to his words that those responsible must be dealt with. He also urged Mnangagwa to make that inquiry soon.

Magaya highlighted that the church will not accept that state security is being used for inquiries when they are subjects of inquiry themselves. He questioned why these police forces are being allowed to investigate themselves.

Church calls for Mnangagwa’s immediate solution

Magaya also called for Mnangagwa to realize that the church seriously takes the manner in which lives were lost. He added that Mnangagwa should summon an independent team, the church included to carry out an extensive investigation. Mgaya clearly stated that the presidium and security forces must not investigate themselves Magaya went to question why there is a selective application of the law to the perpetrators, when the soldiers who committed the crime are left free. He added that the evidence is already in the public domain but soldiers who killed are not being apprehended.

Magaya also highlighted that Biti has been on the run but real shooters are roaming the streets free. Magaya also reminded all politicians who signed peace pledges that heavens recorded. He also warned that whosoever violates the pledge will not escape the wrath of God.

Magaya urged  Zimbabwe to strive for the national building which anchors on justice, peace and development. He also spoke against politically motivated threats which are being experienced across the country. In Magaya’s last statements, he mentioned that those in authority should fall under the rule of law. He added that citizens must be free to express themselves without fear of state security agents. Magaya added that Mnangagwa promised a  new social and political culture conducive not only business for but also for mutual tolerance and co-existence.

QUESTIONS

Why did Zambia deport Biti when he had a right to seek asylum?

Magaya stipulated that African brotherhood has been reduced to the protection of the Elite only and not the ordinary. He also condemned Zambia for denying Biti asylum, he also mentioned that he is ashamed of African leaders for displaying such callous behavior. Magaya also took this chance to advocate for Biti saying he did not kill anyone and that he did not announce any results but he simply declared victory.

What do you make of Mnangagwa’s tweet that he intervened on the grant of Biti’s bail?

Magaya Highlighted that Mnangagwa only did that to massage his ego. He further described that Mnangagwa beat and applied ointment. Magaya also accused Mnangagwa of seeking the masses’ embrace only. He also questioned why Mnangagwa would save the person he so wants to be punished . He also pointed out in this case Mnangagwa has interfered with a court process just to gain praises. Magaya clearly stated that Mnangagwa’s tongue is full of deceit and therefore he cannot be trusted.

What is your take on the fight by Chamisa, what do you think will be the court’s outcome?

Magaya highlighted that the people’s choices in this election were limited. He added that Chamisa’s verdicts are reasonable but he strongly doubted the Zimbabwean courts. Magaya also reminded that the same courts recently dismissed the state’s case that all that have been arrested must not be granted bail. He added that the court is capable of setting traps in favor of individuals. Although Magaya had stated that he wanted to answer the question without aligning himself to Mdc Alliance, he strongly urged Mdc Alliance and supporters to use all constitutional means possible to claim their space and votes.