The Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD) has implored SADC leaders to prioritise issues of peace and security within the regional block.

In a statement congratulating the Government of Zimbabwe for hosting of the 34th SADC Summit, ZHOCD said, “We note with deep concern that despite comprehensive protocols and agreements, SADC faces acute challenges characterized by tensions between member states, resource deficits, citizen’s exclusion, social discontent, human rights violations and limited and external coordination.”

“We believe that at the core of the development of the 15-Member Community is prioritization of peace and security cooperation underpinned by effective structures and unwavering political commitment,” ZHOCD said.

ZHOCD said throughout the region peace and security of citizens was heavily compromised and urged SADC to adopt a robust stance to address the issues

In the statement ZHOCD implored the regional body to continue to develop an effective peace and security policy framework.

“Improve coordination with international partners, harmonize and clarify its role with other SADC structures, broaden engagement with civil society, ensure member-state commitment to African Union efforts on human and people’s rights and build capacity for evaluation and monitoring,” part of the statement reads.

Churches in Zimbabwe have always called for peace and are sometimes at loggerheads with the Government while pushing for upholding of human rights and peaceful political processes.