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ICC Note: Zimbabwe’s national election is around the corner and the state of the nation has the chance of experiencing a dramatic shift for the better as a result of religious leaders. The majority of the population being Christian, religious leaders are highly respected and therefore could shape policies that improves social order.

08/02/2018 Zimbabwe (Christian Today) – Voters in Zimbabwe are queuing to cast their ballots in the first general election since the ousting of long-time president Robert Mugabe – and faith has a huge role to play in the future of a largely Christian country, according to Christian Aid’s country manager there.

Mugabe, a leader of the struggle against white rule, oversaw decades of political repression and the economic collapse of a once-prosperous country. He was removed from office after one of today’s presidential candidates, Emmerson Mnangagwa, overthrew him with the help of the military.

Mnangagwa heads the ruling Zanu-PF party and held office under Mugabe. His main opponent Nelson Chamisa – a pastor who uses the hashtag #GodIsInIt – leads the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The MDC is popular in the cities, while Zanu-PF’s electoral heartland is the countryside.

According to Christian Aid’s country manager Nicholas Shamano: Zimbabwe is largely a Christian country and a large population (about 80 per cent) go to church at least once a month. Faith leaders are really respected and their role is also to help to inform or influence policy direction, and to help to hold leadership to account for their actions and for the decisions being made.

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For interviews with Nathan Johnson, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org