Zimbabwe Faces The Most Theologically Charged Campaign in History As More Christian Leaders Invade Political Arena

In recent years, Zimbabwe has seen a surge of Christian engagement in issues to do with politics and governance, with the development taking a paradigm shift from Pastor Evan Mawarire grabbing the limelight with his well-documented #ThisFlag movement.

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Noah Manyika, leader of Build Zimbabwe Alliance party and a Senior Pastor, President and founder of NeXus Ministries. PIC COURTESY OF The Zimbabwe Mail

On July 30, Zimbabweans will go to the polls to elect the people who will represent their interests for the next five years.

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On script, this should be the most theologically charged campaign in Zimbabwean history. Unlike in the past when Christian leaders often took a back seat in the political process, there has been a significant increase in the number of the clergy seeking political office.

Reverend Dr Kenneth Mtata, the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, said church said church leaders, like any other citizen, have a right to seek political office.

“We are also human beings and part of society. Seeking political office is a personal decision that, however, requires prayers and spiritual wisdom. As our duty is to convince people to turn people to God, we are in a sense politicians,” Dr Mtata said.

Dr Blessing Kasiyamhuru, the leader of the Zimbabwe Partnership for Prosperity (ZIPP), is among the many Christian leaders running for political office.

Together with 22 other candidates, Dr Kasiyamhuru is eyeing the presidential seat.

A member of the Apostolic Faith Mission, Dr Kasiyamhuru said the country needs a God-fearing leader.

“We have tried everything and failed. What we need now as a nation is a God-fearing and anointed leader. God called me into politics to redeem and restore the pride of the nation,” Dr Kasiyamhuru said.

A strong believer in “spiritual intelligence,” Dr Kasiyamhuru said the church cannot be separated from politics.

“Politics began in heaven and if we read the Bible, we find that God himself had functional leadership structures. I believe God is the ultimate politician who appointed Kings,” added Dr Kasiyamhuru.

He gave examples of biblical kings Samuel, David and Solomon, whom he said were anointed by God.

Dr Willard Taonezvi Mugadza, leader of the Bethel Christian Party and one of the presidential hopefuls, said he took an active interest in politics after receiving a prophecy from Nigerian Bishop Fred Addo.

According to Dr Taonezvi, Bishop Addo prophesied that Dr Mugadza would be celebrated and honoured as a political leader.

Dr Taonezvi said Bishop Ado said,

“I am just going to touch you like God has commanded and when I do, you will be celebrated in a few weeks from now. Congratulations my son…God will honour you, he will take away every reproach from you.”

Bishop Addo allegedly added,

“There is a government on your shoulders, I see an exalted seat. You are about to be called to sit on it.”

Dr Taonezvi said an anointed cloth was draped around his neck, signifying the mantle that was used by Elijah in the Bible.

“Leadership is a calling and I believe Zimbabwe needs a God-anointed leader. Through prophetic guidance, God had entrusted me with leading this nation,” Dr Taonezvi said.

Another runner-up for the hot seat is Noah Manyika, leader of Build Zimbabwe Alliance party and a Senior Pastor, President and founder of NeXus Ministries.

Also in the bolt is Rev Evaristo Chikanga, presidential candidate for Rebuild Zimbabwe and a clergyman with the United Methodist Church.

Speaking at Peace Prayer Service, a service held to memorialise the 10th anniversary of the 2008 April-June Dark Season and observe the United Nations Conventions Against Torture in Harare last month Rev implored that the Church should not vote for non-devotees. Rather, they should elect in trusted stewards- people who know God.

Pastor Vimbai Tsvangirai Java is eyeing the Glen View South National Assembly seat. She said she received God’s calling to represent the people.

“I grew up in a Christian family and as a pastor and generally a church person, I am always with the people. l know their concerns first-hand. The experience that I have as a pastor puts me in good stead. To me, politics is about being genuine to the people. God has taught me to serve those in need and I will rightfully do so if elected.”

It also convinced Fadzayi Mahere, a Christian believer and an aspiring MP for Mount Pleasant, that Zimbabwe, now more than ever, stand in need of a Christian leader.

Addressing believers at ONEchurch in Avondale in a free-wheeling question-and-answer session dubbed Responsible Citizenship: Q&A Session with Fadzayi Mahere, Mahere said:

“I think that if we have a state with no God, no godly principles I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing. I do think it’s important sometimes for us to value integrity, honesty, lack of corruption, you know. I think Christian, Christianity offers so much guidance on how that can be done…

For my own personal life especially, I’m guided by Christian principles.”

In all this, we may also want to highlight that one of the key runners in the election Nelson Chamisa is a pastor with AFM as well.

In recent years, Zimbabwe has seen a surge of Christian engagement in issues to do with politics and governance, with the development taking a paradigm shift from Pastor Evan Mawarire grabbing the limelight with his well-documented #ThisFlag movement.

With just a video that deplored the shambolic economy and expressed bold patriotism over fear, the cleric raised the ire of the Zimbabwean authorities by calling for a nationwide shutdown.

As fluid as the situation has been since then, various clerics has felt the need to exercise both private faith and public politics as they believe the two are well-knitted.

Earlier this year, the five-fold ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists and teachers were admonished against standing aloof under the impression that politics is a dirty game.

Speaking at the Marketplace Clergy Dialogue ‘Occupy, Let us rise up and build together,’ Dr Shingi Munyeza, President of Global Marketplace Calling International Dr Zie Dillion and Rev. Dennis Dillon emphasised the need for Christians to ensure that they become active in the matters that involve them, and not sit down and let people outside the “kingdom” determine how they live.

Resource: Sunday Mail