Ward 4 citizens in Mutasa district in Manicaland province have petitioned the Mutasa District Administrator seeking their right to freedom of worship as stipulated in the country’s constitution.

The constitution gives every Zimbabwean citizen the freedom of thought, opinion, religion or belief and freedom to practice and propagate and give expression to their thought, opinion, religion or belief, whether in public or in private and whether alone or together with others.

However, the ward 4 citizens say they are being forced to partake in a rainy making ceremony popularly known in Shona “Mukanzo/ Mukwerera”.

Explaining the contents of the petition that was submitted to the administrator on Star FM during a programme dubbed Communities in Action which is being supported by a local NGO, the Election Resource Centre (ERC), one of the two citizens Adams Chikoko said the ceremony should not be compulsory.

“We are being forced to contribute to this traditional process and some of us we are Christians and do not want to be associated with such issues hence it must not be made compulsory,” Chikoko said.

However, in response, the Mutasa district administrator Tendai Kapenzi, said people must not run away from their culture.

“…At the same time we must not run away from the fact that we are black people who have a culture,” Kapenzi said.

Traditionally communities hold a rain making ceremony were beer is brewed, but due to various religions that have mushroomed over the years people now have different beliefs.

Other key issues that were raised in the petition included high water levy, partisan distribution of government inputs and food and traditional leaders being partisan with some of them holding party positions.