Outspoken Christian cleric and Zimbabwe Devine Destiny (ZDD) leader Bishop Ancelimo Magaya has come out strong on politicians who are neck-deep in violent politicking and declaimed that the Church will not elect in anyone who has a record of effectuating violence.
The bishop made the remarks on Wednesday, June 27, while giving an oration at a Peace Prayer Service conducted at the Dutch Reformed Hall in the capital city, a service held to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 2008 April-June Dark Season and observe the United Nations Convention Against Torture.
In his key speech, Bishop Magaya, who has always advocated for peaceful conduct and experienced a politically motivated ‘unlawful detention’ in 2016 after an undertaking to stage a peaceful demonstration to complain about deteriorating economic condition, President Mugabe’s misrule and ubiquitous police brutality, censured the church for being the reason there has been a dawdling transformation in the country.
“I believe the Church is the reason why things have delayed to change in Zimbabwe. If the Church wanted, if the church was ready, if the Church is ready today, Zimbabwe will change overnight. So, I’m saying the Church is the reason why we have delayed transformation to this nation.”
“And I believe strongly that we are now getting into a season where Zimbabwe will never be ruled by a person who does not know God. In fact, I’m promising you this, we are entering into that season and it will be perpetual. See what would be happening in these elections and beyond next elections, 2023 and beyond. We have prayed enough over the decades and I’m saying the Church will not vote for anybody who has perpetrated violence before. We will not.”
Apart from galumphing into grievous political garboils, the church, conferring to the revered Bishop, will, as well, not elect in corrupted candidates.
“We will not vote for anybody who has authorised, promoted, instigated and masterminded violence. Super hardcore. We’ll not. Anybody known for corruption, anybody who owns unaccounted for mines, numerous! Billions of dollars when you earn barely 20 thousand! We will not vote for that. We are entering a season where God is ushering in his children.”
Speaking at the same occasion, ZDD Provincial Chairman Reverend Gathre Melusi urged the church and all citizens to not randomly vote for politicians and political blocs but to scrutinise individuals as the next election is a value-based election.
The young and sound cleric, who contended that Zimbabwe being in doldrums does not owe to demons, but the statespersons we elected, proclaimed in 2018, ‘no criminal should slip into our August House.’
Also in attendance, Evaristo Chikanga, presidential candidate for Rebuild Zimbabwe and a clergyman with the United Methodist Church, implored that the Church should not vote for non-believers.
Jacob Ngarivhume, standing in for the MDC Alliance, said the 30 July election is a chance for citizens, principally the Church, to pass judgement in a good manner and vote for a contestant who can move the country forward.
In a special feature of the Peace Prayer Service, attendees sat solemnly as they listened to several testimonies and untold stories from survivors and sufferers of political violence.
Those who reflected on the 2008 bleak era were Morgan Tsvangirai‘s former personal aide Gandi Mudzingwa, photojournalist Shadreck “Saddam,” Manyere, War Veterans Peace Initiative Forum representative Cde Joshua Kativhu, and spouse to the murdered prominent activist Tonderai Ndira.
Bishop Magaya, together with the church, ministered a healing and forgiveness ceremony to the survivors, with representatives from the War Veteran Peace Initiative apologising for having aided in inflicting violence.