People of the cloth have many times tried to appear relevant in the political sphere if they see that converting more people to Christianity is a mammoth tusk. They always use their Christian backgrounds as a way of getting sympathizers from the church members, on their endeavours to get publicity.
Zimbabwean people should guard against such people who always want to appear messiahs when the public are facing problems ranging from economic, political, cultural or social yet the same people would also be failing to solve their problems on their back yards. People should realize that church leaders are also individuals who have interests in politics and whatever they say that has political connotations should be analyzed before such an initiative is taken into consideration.
Since the turn of the twenty-first (21st) century, Zimbabwe has seen a lot of concept papers coming from different people who thought they had brilliant ideas that could turn around the economic fortunes of the country. Most of such concept papers came and went without a significant incident associated with the so called brilliant ideas. A lot of intellectuals from the public domain as well as from religious groups would come up with ideas well written claiming that they provided guides on how the economic decline could be revived but nothing materialized.
Of importance to single out was The Zimbabwe We Want: towards a National Vision for Zimbabwe, which was launched in 2007 amid much pomp and fanfare as a basis for extricating Zimbabwe out of its economic crisis during those years. That document, which was written in a form of a booklet, came into being as a result of the coming together of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Council of Churches.
Those church leaders told the public that their document was so good that its implementation in the country would be a blessing to the country. Zimbabweans were told that such an initiative by the church leaders would bring good fortunes to people and the country. The masses were told that such a document was the best that the church had ever crafted and would be the panacea to all challenges in the country. As such, Zimbabweans were urged to embrace that document with the hope that it heralded some new beginning, whatever that meant.
With such promise from the church leadership, Zimbabweans had no reason for skepticism. The country hoped that some good economic fruits would derive from that initiative. Actually, it was at the great risk of public ridicule that any individual could come out in the open and oppose what the people of the cloth had ordained as a God-sent, straight from the celestial heights and complete with the rubber stamp of the Pearly Gates. It was really a time of great expectations!
All that transpired in 2007 and would be now history was it not for attempts to resuscitate a cadaver by, you guessed right, a man of the cloth. Retired Anglican Bishop Sebastian Bakare is now putting himself on the public domain through his National Convergence Platform (NCP), which he claims will be held in October this year in Harare. Bakare avers that his NCP would bring together all political parties and civic society groups to deliberate on key issues affecting the economy. In actual fact, it will be a coalition of forces, which is where it will derive its success.
The Bishop sees himself actualizing his plans of the NCP where about 2500 so-called stakeholders, purportedly drawn from churches, political parties, civic society groups, trade unions, youth, students and women’s movements subordinate themselves to his ordained will.
But reason that Bishop Bakare needs to interrogate centres on the failure of the previous attempt of the church-initiated “The Zimbabwe We Want”, program in 2007. Could the retired bishop tell the public what makes his NCP any different from the 2007 debacle? The same church-initiated program failed to come up with solutions on the problems that were affecting the country and are still affecting the country even today.
Looking at the political situation in the country, the Bishop risks facing huddles that were faced by his predecessors when they also came up with such a similar platform although slightly different in the modus operandi. Actually the NCP is bound to fail because those who are supposed to be part and parcel of that platform have different views on how the NCP could be constituted, let alone handled; hence, nothing of substance could come out. People are seized with more pressing bread and butter issues. Anything that has nothing to do with such programs is a nullity to them.
In actual fact, for a man that craves publicity like Bakare, the Bishop appears to have been conspicuously hibernating for some time now. The NCP initiative, if at all it could be called that, is nothing but a publicity gimmick to entice another gullible fool to soon part with his money. A lot of people have realized that donor money can come so easy once one comes up with any ridiculous organization or concept that shows that it is against the ZANU PF government. So Bishop Bakare knows quite well that with such an initiative, donors would start knocking on his door with funds that can sustain his livelihood as a pensioner.
As such, people should be wary of individuals who always abuse others in pursuit of selfish interests and personal aggrandizements.