Stop violence in 2023 elections – Catholic priest tells villagers

Father Edward Ndete

Mirror Reporter

Gutu – A Roman Catholic priest, Father Edward Ndete has urged villagers in Gutu to stop being used in violent activities by politicians ‘coming from’ Harare as this is only helping to strain relationships and retard development in communities.

Father Ndete who is a lawyer by training and was at one time attached to Zimbabwe Parliament by the Church was speaking at the burial of Professor Nehemiah Mavetera who died in South Africa last week.

Mavetera was buried at Farm 256 in Nyazvidzi Small Scale Farming Area in Gutu on Monday.

Father Ndete said violence in Zimbabwean elections is a matter of serious concern as it had has caused untold divisions and hate in communities to the extent that villagers don’t talk to each other, they don’t assist each other, they don’t visit each and they don’t go to console one another at funerals.

He accused politicians coming from Harare of fanning violence in generally peaceful communities. He said the 2023 elections were drawing closer and urged villagers to desist from political violence.

“Politicians who urge you to fight each other normally come from Harare and they drive big 4×4 vehicles like that one parked over there,” said Father Ndete pointing to one of the cars at the funeral that belonged to an MP.

“They come, they lie to you and they leave you divided. You are a community and you are not islands; you need to borrow salt, sugar and ploughshares from each other and how do you do that when strangers come here and create enmity among yourselves.

“All people in rural communities are related. If you want to join the dots you will realise that your mother is of the gumbo totem, your cousin is shoko, your niece is chihera, your nephew is of the moyo totem, your uncle is beta, you are hungwe and so on. So if you kill one person you have killed one of those.

“Please stop this senseless violence. You are being used by outsiders to inflict pain on each other. You are being divided and you become unable to work together and to help each other.

“The greatest thing in the world is love and God is love. Love is found in the people around you and so is God. The old woman that you beat up is the love of God and is therefore God,” said Father Ndete to applause from the mourners.

Father Ndete questioned politicians’ infatuation with material things and said it was a futile exercise for them to amass houses, farms and properties when one’s neighbourhood is a sea of poverty.

“No one is buried with these properties. If we are to bury these politicians with their mansions and cars how big will be the graves?
“Politicians waste too much money on these campaigns and I remember in one of the Parliamentary terms we had 35 by-elections because even after amassing so much wealth and power, politicians also die and priests are called to preside over their burials,” said Father Ndete.

The funeral was attended by hundreds of people from the surrounding farms, relatives and a number of prominent people from Harare.
Mourners described the late as a humble man, kind and always helping relatives and the poor.

One of Mavetera’s sisters Eleonera Mavetera Mashingaidze who spoke at the funeral urged her brothers and sisters to follow in the footsteps of their late father Nehemia (senior) who left a legacy of love and was adored and respected in the community.

“My father was a jovial man known all over for his antics in playing the African drum. He worked very well with the community. He left a legacy of humility, love and empathy. He was humble and kind and he helped others. He went to funerals and other events in the community and was always there for others.

“I urge my siblings not to destroy his good name. Please keep our father’s ways and good name,” said Eleonera.

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