Movement for Democratic Change founding president Morgan Tsvangirai on Thursday urged churches to speak out against human rights violations and other injustices in Zimbabwe without taking sides in political issues.
Speaking at a three-day church seminar convened by an organization calling itself Build Africa, Mr. Tsvangirai said church leaders should not keep quiet when people's rights were being violated, adding that members of the clergy should remain apolitical.
Speaking at the same occasion, a member of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, Goodwills Shana, said the major problem in Zimbabwe is that politicians tend to usurp the powers of the church.
Mr. Tsvangirai said it was disheartening that churches remained quiet in the post-independence era when atrocities such as those committed by the North Korean-trained Five Brigade, commonly known as Gukurahundi, were committed only for them to condemn the actions later.
Vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was expected to share the platform with Mr. Tsvangirai, did not turn after President Robert Mugabe, who arrived back from Ethiopia yesterday and slipped at the airport after addressing his followers, called an emergency cabinet meeting. Cabinet meetings are normally held on Tuesday.
Meanwhile. Mr. Tsvangirai told VOA Studio 7's Blessing Zulu his party is fighting hard to ensure that Zimbabwe embraces democratic principles which promote good governance and accountability.