While there is a plethora of research on the church, healing and reconciliation, there is none that has taken cognisance of the need to find solutions to deal with tribalism between Ndebele and Shona clergy in the Pentecostal church of Zimbabwe. Clergy are deployed according to the language they speak, instead of the passion and call of Elohim upon their lives. Many Researches have been done on centuries of tribal conflict; however, they centred on socio-political influences instead of socio-religious influences and consequences of the tribal conflict between Ndebele and Shona clergy. Tribal conflict has transcended generations and crossed all social settings that it has found its expression even among the clergy and laity within churches across Zimbabwe. The main focus of this research is the conflict between Ndebele and Shona Clergy in the Pentecostal church in Zimbabwe and has sought to “lift the carpet” and remove all the hidden social and unspoken debris, that continues to split the church along tribal lines. The Researcher writes from the perspective of being a female clergy who is also born by a Shona father and a Ndebele mother hence she relates to both sets of people outside the church. However, within the conservative Pentecostal church setting, the researcher was made to feel like an outsider by both groups which was even aggravated by the fact that her denominational organisation doesn't ordain and recognise female ministers let alone those of mixed ethnicity.
The research established a participatory action research process so as to promote both education (creating curricula that deals with tribalism) and action (speaking against tribalism from the pulpit). The Research Methodology that was initially proposed was a Mixed Methods Action Research (Ivankova, 2015: 45), however during the course of the study it was changed to a qualitative method of enquiry as it thoroughly investigated and interrogated the tribal status quo among the Pentecostal clergy (Ndebele & Shona) in Zimbabwe. The research demography was two of Zimbabwe's largest cities (namely; Bulawayo and Harare), and the reason for choosing these two cities, was because they are predominantly Ndebele and Shona concentrations, respectively. Zimbabwe is composed of these two as the major tribes and many other small tribes, however these small tribes seem to be insignificant to the social fabric of Zimbabwe compared to the two major tribes (namely the Ndebele and Shona). The effects of tribal differences between the Ndebele and Shona people was assessed, in order to ascertain their effect on pastoral care. An exploration of the history between the Ndebele and Shona tribes formulated part of this research, thereby creating an understanding of the underlying causes of the existing Tribal Conflicts. Most of the literature that deals with the Zimbabwean conflicts has not tried to bring to light the tribal conflict between the Ndebele and Shona clergy. An investigation on how this conflict began and what has been its contemporary influence among the Clergy of Zimbabwe was conducted via interviews, questionnaires, folk tales, books and journals.
The power of the church as the custodian of reconciliation was discussed in order to harness and promote a visible pastoral care drive that will promote real Truth and Reconciliation while bringing healing to the church of Zimbabwe, in particular. An interrogation of the effectiveness of previous truth and reconciliation efforts assisted to lay the foundation for engaging of the Clergy. This research sought to understand whether the 1983 to 1987 Gukurahundi incidents were clarion indicators of existing tribal tensions between the Ndebele and Shona people, in particular the clergy.