“Go and vote peacefully”: Catholic Bishops in Zimbabwe to Electorate

Bishop Rudolf Nyandoro reading the message of members of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC). Credit: Archdiocese of Harare

Members of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC) are urging the electorate in the Southern African nation to “vote peacefully” in the country’s On Wednesday, August 23 general elections.

Zimbabweans are to vote for presidential and parliamentary candidates in an election that is considered crucial in determining the future of a southern African nation, Reuters reported. 

The incumbent, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is seeking re-election “after a first term during which runaway inflation, currency shortages and sky-high unemployment left many Zimbabweans reliant on dollar remittances from relatives abroad to make ends meet,” according to Reuter’s August 23 report.

In a message ahead of the polls,  ZCBC members say elections which run concurrently with the Catholic Church's celebration of the Synod on Synodality should be characterized by the gospel of communion and participation in the mission of building the nation.

“The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC), through its social arm of justice and peace, would like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to go and vote peacefully,”  the Catholic Church leaders say in their Tuesday, August 22 message, which Bishop Rudolf Nyandoro read at a press conference.


ZCBC members add, “As a Church, we believe that peaceful and non-violent elections are the only legitimate way to seek support for public offices.”

“Voting, in our view, is a duty for all to contribute to the common good of our beloved nation,” they say, and continue, “As ZCBC, we believe that voting is an opportunity for everyone to directly participate in the governance of our country.”

ZCBC members further say, “These elections however coincide with the Catholic Church's celebration of the Synod. The meaning of Synod is moving together, seeing together and working together as a church.”

“In this Synod we have three main pillars namely communion, participation and mission. In the same way during elections, everyone is encouraged to participate in communion with others in the mission of building our nation,” Catholic Bishops in Zimbabwe say in reference to the theme of the ongoing preparations for the Synod on Synodality, which Pope Francis extended to 2024. . 

They add, “We have made strides in growing to be a democratic country, and we strongly encourage a peaceful environment because human life is sacred.”

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“We pray for peaceful elections. Remember that there is life before, during and after elections. We, therefore, call upon all voters to respect the electoral processes,” the Catholic Church leaders in Zimbabwe implore.

They add, “Dear Zimbabweans, we humbly ask you to continue to be tolerant, to be respectful and to be peaceful during voting and after the announcement of the election results.”

In July, ZCBC members cautioned the people of God in the Southern African nation against allowing the presidential contest to cause divisions among them.

“We would like to encourage all citizens to make this election different: let it be characterized by peace. Critical, defining, and determining as these elections are, the contest for the highest office in the land, and other offices, should not divide us as a nation,” the Catholic Church leaders said in their July 5 pastoral letter.

They also called upon the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) officials to ensure they deliver free, fair, and credible polls.


Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.