Some Zimbabwean churches have called for the impeachment of 92-year-old President Robert Mugabe over his misrule that has resulted in the economic collapse that has left the country exposed to civil unrest.
The coalition of churches, which include Zimbabwe Divine Destiny, Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, Christian Voice, Zimbabwe Pastors’ Fellowship and Prayer Network Zimbabwe, said it would protest in the capital Harare on Thursday.
In a statement, the coalition said it would demand that Mugabe’s government be held accountable for failing to deal with the unfolding economic crisis. The churches would also protest against the abuse of state security apparatus, abductions, vote rigging and illegal arrest of citizens.
After the demonstration, church members plan to petition parliament to impeach Mugabe.
Bishop Ancelimo Magaya, speaking on behalf of the churches, demanded Mugabe’s government acknowledged Zimbabwe was in a dire situation that required “an extraordinary collective response”.
“Failure of which, the church demands parliament to move a motion of impeachment of the president over failed governance and subsequently set up a transitional authority to handle the crises and carry the nation through until the next election,” said Magaya.
Mugabe, a Catholic, has previously quashed criticism from church leaders.
Last month, Mugabe, who has been in power for more than 36 years, lambasted popular pastor Evan Mawarire as a false preacher sponsored by foreign countries bent on destabilising Zimbabwe.
Earlier this year, on July 6, Zimbabweans heeded the “national stay away” called for by Mawarire who used his social media #ThisFlag campaign to mobilise citizens. Mawarire has since fled Zimbabwe.
The nonagenarian Mugabe has also previously called retired Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo Pius Ncube a half-wit and a liar.
Mugabe has previously also vowed to cut church leaders’ “political tentacles” because of their criticism of his government.
On Friday opposition parties will protest in Harare to demand electoral reforms and solutions to the worsening economic and political problems in the Southern African country.