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Rebecca Malope to sing for peace in Zim

2012-05-16 16:26
rebecca malope
Johannesburg - Gospel giants Rebecca Malope and Sipho Makhabane will on Saturday sing and pray for peace in Zimbabwe as the three inclusive government principals try to promote a violence-free atmosphere ahead of general elections.

The pair will sing and pray for a crowd of more than 20 000 political activists and their leaders at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo.

The rally is a brainchild of Zimbabwean church leaders. The three principals, President Robert Mugabe, Professor Welshman Ncube and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, have been invited in the capacity of the offices they hold in their respective political parties.

"We invited the principals because of the people they represent. Their people are the ones that engage in political violence. As church leaders we want a peaceful environment because at the end a leader has to be anointed by the divine," said Pastor Pride Ndlovu from the organising committee.

"We have guests from as far as South Africa. Rebecca Malope and Sipho Makhabane are gospel musicians that represent peace and they will entertain the crowd alongside other local gospel musicians. They will also lead us in prayer," he added.

Homophobic statement

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is expected in Zimbabwe a day after the prayer session. She will be on a fact finding mission touring the country and meeting civic organisations as well as government officials.

This week the minister of local government, rural and urban development, Ignatius Chombo, uttered a homophobic statement urging community leaders to evict people that are suspected to be gay or in support of homosexuality.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said Chombo's utterance would be used as an excuse for political violence.

"It is clear that this will be used as a pretext to clamp down on political opponents and drive out perceived supporters of alternative political parties on the basis that they 'support homosexuality' and increase internal displacement so that people would find it difficult to vote during the polls," said the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association says more than 495 cases of human rights violations have been reported so far this year.

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