CPNZ Zimbabwe

Catholic Professionals Network of Zimbabwe (CPNZ) 

The Genesis of CPNZ

To get started , there is need to re-echoe the question in the Shona vernacular by a fellow Catholic professional  “Ko tinenge tichiitei tika joiner CPNZ” (is it really worthy the while to join CPNZ) .This reminds of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin who was the Archbishop of Chicago. Just before he died, a reporter asked Cardinal Bernardin about this approach to his ministry. And he said, “You can’t really get on with preaching the Gospel until you’ve touched minds and hearts.” The exemplary work we do at our stations every day, how we conduct ourselves in our families and when we go that extra mile to make a difference in our communities and Church and CPNZ – we also touch hearts and minds.

Milestones of CPNZ

The need to establish an association of Catholic professionals in Zimbabwe was first discussed around 2002 and that discussion laid the foundation of what has become CPNZ. Zimbabwean Catholic professionals have visited several countries to learn about how other Catholic professionals are doing it. It is a journey of many miles but it started with a single step.

CPNZ has accomplished the following milestones in its development:

  • In June 2011 the first meeting that rejuvenated CPNZ
  • Approval (by members) of the CPNZ Constitution in October 2011
  • Official recognition of CPNZ by the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC) in December 2011
  • CPNZ attended the African Forum for Catholic Social Teaching (AFCAST) in Malawi and Kenya
  • The successful admission into ICMICA PaxRomana and sending a representative to participate at the 31st World Assembly of PaxRomana held in Vienna in August 2012
  • Holding of the first Annual General Meeting (AGM) which formally adopted the Constitution and elected a substantive Executive on 18 August 2012
  • Development of the Network’s Strategic Plan 2013 – 2017 on February 23, 2013
  • Validation of the Strategic Plan on March 23, 2013
  • Hosted the AFCAST Regional conference attended by Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe on 27thApril 2013.

Launch of Gweru Chapter

  • The CPNZ held a conference on 22 November 2014 at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Hall in Gweru. 60 Delegates attended: 20 from Harare, 30 from Gweru, 5 from AFCAST and 5 Gweru local organising team.
  • There was lower participation of females than their male counterparts. The various professions in attendance included teachers, nurses, doctors, artists and business people.
  • The Gweru Bishop, Xavier Munyongani welcomed the move by Catholic professionals to launch a chapter in Gweru diocese, He criticised Catholic professionals and public officials who engage in corrupt activities that have destroyed the Zimbabwe economy and societal values.

Launch of Mutare Chapter on 28th February 2015

  • The Launch went according to plan.
  • Local support came from CCJP team under the leadership of Mrs. Gertrude Chimange
  • The presenters and facilitators gave well researched and relevant presentations.
  • The Bishop of Manicaland Diocese Sekuru Muchabaiwa attended and his presence, participation and encouragement was a great gesture.
  • The Vicar General Fr. Chipiro also attended together with Fr. Madzirashe.
  • The team from Gweru led by Fr. Mabhachi and their Chapter Chairman, Dr. Mudziwapasi demonstrated a good act of ‘collegiality’ by attending.
  • Official records show that 50 people attended the Mutare Chapter launch. The number may be slightly higher than this, as some came for shorter periods and were not captured on our register. Nyanga and Rusape were also represented.

Mutare identified the following as urgent matters to be worked on:

  1. i) Committee regularisation to ensure it is complete and functional
  2. ii) Membership drive and registration culminating in compilation of database

iii) Publicising the CPNZ in deaneries (constitution, strategy etc) , through conventional modes of communication (meetings, letters ) as well as utilising other mediums like whattsapp

Launch of the Harare Chapter

The Harare Chapter has always been in the shadow of the national executive which was always mistaken for Harare Chapter since CPNZ was started in Harare. However this has since been rectified and the launch of the Harare Chapter has its seeds in this AGM. Today we are being hosted by the Harare Chapter, but they decided as we were organising the AGM that it would be unfair to steal the AGM’s lime-light by launching their chapter just before the AGM and they will be giving us their dates in due course. As per tradition other chapters will be invited.

There are other sub-committees that were proposed (Research, knowledge management and generation) as well as profession-specific committees or groups to share on social teachings of the Church and ethical conduct, or the revival of the Zimbabwe Catholic Media Workers Association (ZICAMWA). The need to implement all this work by making financial contributions, holding workshops and assisting all arms of the church on other technical areas – DPC, and commissions was also considered.



It is hoped that more CPNZ Chapters will soon be launched in other Arch/Dioceses of the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe.  Bulawayo, Masvingo, Hwange, Chinhoyi are all targeted for this grand expansion project.


The establishment of CPNZ chapters which is going in the dioceses provides that platform to reflect on matters of our faith and values.You know, in this world of competing claims about what is right and what is true, we to have confidence in the values with which we’ve been raised and educated as Catholics. We should not be afraid to speak our minds when those values are at stake.  We have to hold firm to our faith and allow it to guide us on our life journey.  However we have to humble. Professionalism should tamper our passions, and cause us to be wary of self-righteousness. It should compel us to remain open, and curious, and eager to continue the moral and spiritual debate.


In the period under review, CPNZ also participated at:

  • Gave at talk at the Sts. Agnes and Alois Youth Guild Annual Conference at Francis of Assisi in September 2012
  • A Youth Interaction Session at the St. Francis Parish in Waterfalls and
  • A Career Guidance day and Chitsungo Mission in the Chinhoyi Diocese, and
  • A discussion session on the meaning of being a Catholic Professional, with the Senior Youths at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Harare, and
  • We were invited to address the Catenians at Highlands Sports Club in July 2015

Contribution to National Discourse

Catholic professionals should stand ready to participate in robust debates and not shy away from tough debates that will shape the direction of this country. Last week (22nd September, 2013) we woke up to the Sunday Mail headline “10-year-olds to legally get contraceptives”. What really is going on, was about to go on and could still be happening? As professionals we need informed debate and we might as well need to research further into these matters and among us we have expert to inform better.

The Sunday mail report is just a tip of the ice-berg this issue goes right to the heart of child-abuse and institutional corruption of children in the country’s institutions where adults are abusing children and when they say contraceptives are to prevent teenage pregnancies do we know who exactly is impregnating these children? Is this just a matter for health experts or maybe the police and social workers and others as well? Maybe this is a subject for another CPNZ public meeting at the Catholic University in Zimbabwe or some public discourse appealing venue..

Our relationship with other Church institutions

The Church has on-going institutional programs that address various areas of societal needs as highlighted in the environmental scanning above, such as the Health Commission (health issues), Education Commission (education issues), CARITAS (livelihoods and emergencies), Justice and Peace Commission (peace and justice), Commission for the Laity (lay issues), Pastoral Commission (pastoral issues) and others. Among CPNZ’s objectives are the following:

  • To be of service as professionals to the Church and its institutions
  • To work in collaboration with other Catholic groups as well as support Catholic youth groups in areas of mutual interest

These two objectives were particularly highlighted in the Archbishop of Harare’s letter of 20 January 2012 to all parish priests in which he introduced CPNZ and requested parish priests in the Archdiocese to give support to CPNZ programs.

In broad terms therefore, CPNZ members saw their role as largely that of adding value to the Church’s programs in the Church’s response to the needs of the environment in which She exists and operates.

Specifically, the following areas of possible response by the Network were mentioned:

  • CPNZ members availing themselves to the Church as resource persons in their areas of expertise
  • Developing and implementing Catholic business projects to help sustain the church. Become “the salt of the earth” through participation in parish activities including small Christian  communities, in civic projects such as advocating for just causes, encouraging, and evangelizing beginning with the family level going up.

We may not be able to achieve all this but we will try. We do not purport to know it all but we hope to make our contributions within the confines of skills and abilities but need more professionals to come forward, as we draw up our skills database.

CPNZ Link with Diaspora

The return of the diaspora and their varying spiritual and cultural under-currents bring both challenges and opportunities. The opportunities lie mainly in the skills return and investments.

The London Catholic Community has been regularly sending goods and various resources to help our institutions and charities here in Zimbabwe. CPNZ previously collaborated with the Community in distributing donated goods from the UK, in Zimbabwe.


For those who may be asking what then shall we do? The answer is simple, let us evengelise!  The expression New Evangelization was popularized in the encyclical of Pope Paul VI Evangelization in the Modern World, as a response to the new challenges-that the contemporary world creates for the mission of the Church.” Pope John Paul II saw the need for a “great re-launching” of evangelization in the present life of the Church in a variety of ways.