Zimbabwe’s churches say they may have answer to economic woes

HARARE, July 9, 2006 (AFP) – Zimbabwe’s churches are rallying to provide what they call a “comprehensive document” they believe could help lift the embattled southern African country from its political and economical muddle. The plan drawn up by the influential Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) comes in the wake of a recent call by President Robert Mugabe to “combine our strengths” as the country continues to sink under galloping inflation, unemployment and fuel and food shortages.

It includes a suggestion for much-needed constitutional reform and is expected to have comments from both Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai as Zimbabwe seeks yet another key to unlock a six-year-long crisis.

“We are working together to look at sticking points which are causing problems in Zimbabwe,” ZCC’s spokesman Trevor Manhanga told AFP this week.

“After consultation with all stakeholders we will present our document to the head of state for action as the vision of the church,” said Bishop Manhanga whose organisation includes Catholic, Anglican and Pentecostal churches.

Manhanga said the churches had a “broad range of issues we want to present to government, including constitutional reforms which are very necessary.