Church leaders commended the peaceful atmosphere leading up to the parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe, yesterday. The nation as a whole has been calling for zero tolerance for political violence after the widely criticized elections in 2000 and 2002.
Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe president, Bishop Trevor Manhanga has joined other Church leaders and civil society leaders in calling for less violence. In an interview with The Herald of Zimbabwe he expressed his hope for the elections.
"I hope the peaceful atmosphere will continue prevailing because this is good for our country." He also noted a great change in the incidents of violence compared to previous elections.
"The electorate should send a clear message that they are opposed to political violence by voting for those calling for peace while shunning those bent on fuelling violence," he said.
The founder and president of the Zimbabwe Religious Board, Reverend Godwin Mwanza also said that the Church should complement efforts by political parties to reduce problems ahead of the general election.
"We welcome the call by President Mugabe that there should be zero tolerance on political violence as this call is being heeded," Rev. Mwanza said.
In a mid February interdenominational prayer meeting for peace, Manhanga and other Christian leaders addressed over 2,000 worshipers, politicians among them. They lamented the violence in previous elections.