ZANU PF acting spokesperson Patrick Chinamasa has claimed that the Pastoral Letter issued by the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) on 14 August was written by MDC Alliance leaders Nelson Chamisa and Tendai Biti.
Addressing journalists at the party’s headquarters in Harare on Tuesday, Chinamasa said the hard-hitting letter released by Catholic Bishops could only have been written by Chamisa and Biti. Said Chinamasa:
We dismiss these allegations with the contempt they deserve, not only as baseless but pandering to the demands of the MDCs.
The language was clearly tilted. In fact, you would say that the language seemed to have been written by Chamisa or Biti, most likely Biti.
We are saying to the bishops, before you speak, please ask for dialogue with our President. We are open to any dialogue on any issue that affects Zimbabweans, that affects their lives.
We will not allow any tendencies that precipitate us to violent situations or which give encouragement to noises that want to precipitate violent outcomes for our country.
In their pastoral letter, the Catholic bishops called on the government to order over human rights violations and corruption.
The government immediately responded by calling the bishops “genocidal”, “evil-minded” and a “self-righteous Ndebele minority”.