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Church leaders raise a red flag over government directive on re-opening of churches.By Samuel Njinga.

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The Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOC) issued a statement in response to the announcement made by the government declaring that Churches can partially open provided their members have been vaccinated. In an interview with Hevoi FM News, the ZHOC Secretary General Reverend Kenneth Mutata said he notes with concern that it is very difficult to determine who can be included and who cannot be included in the worship environment. It further argues that only 10 percent of the country`s population has so far been vaccinated therefore implying that only a few Christians will be able to turn up for services. The churches body wants a number of grey areas to be clarified.
“We have recommended that the Ministry of health and child welfare clarifies on who should be participating in the Church given that those under 18 cannot be vaccinated according to the current legislation. We also seek answers to some extenuating circumstances surrounding those who want to be vaccinated but are failing to do so due to shortages of the jab.” said Mtata.
The Heads also recommended that churches be part of the COVID 19 task force so as to enable them to support the government in decision making. The government has been tasked to follow the persuasive approach instead of coercion in a bid to have people getting vaccinated.
Government has said that churches can open to members who are fully vaccinated and declared that church leaders who fail to abide to the new regulations risk prosecution.

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