Over 15 000 congregants from 101 churches under the Zimbabwe Indigenous Interdenominational Council of Churches (ZIICC) convened at the National Sports Stadium in Harare to observe the National Day of Prayer last Saturday.
The meeting was graced by high-profile officials that include President Emmerson Mnangagwa (guest of honour), First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, Ministers Apollonia Munzverengwi and Monica Mutsvangwa along with other several cabinet Ministers and senior government officials.
At different intervals, clerics were in a quest to outdo each other in heaping praises on President Mnangagwa for his efforts towards turning around the country’s economy and fostering national unity. Newzimbabwe.com reports that some church leaders turned the religious ceremony into a rally as they also lashed out at the main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa for failing to recognise Mnangagwa as the legitimate leader of Zimbabwe.
Reportedly, they also had no kind words for local conventional “European Churches” accusing them of giving false information on developments in Zimbabwe resulting in the country earning a pariah State status.
Ambassador for the Christ International’s Apostle Abel Sande said that God had given Zimbabwe “respectable” leaders in President Mnangagwa and Vice Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi.
“We thank you for the leaders you gave us. Bless our leaders. You gave us the three leaders. Bless our President Mnangagwa, VP Chiwenga and VP Mohadi.
“Our president has preached the need for being honest. He wants us to stop corruption. Leaders here are the mouth of God, and anyone who has something to say speaks through the leaders here,” he said as quoted by NewZimbabwe.com.
Little-known Bishop Roderick Makusha of Deeper Life Ministries, in a bid to make a name for himself, fired direct salvos at fellow cleric and MDC-Alliance leader Advocate Nelson Chamisa, urging him to accept defeat in the 2018 presidential election. He said Chamisa must do so even in a case in which the opposition leader still feels he was robbed of victory by his main rival using the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).
“You can claim that you were rigged, but at times you have to accept the result because God would have given his stamp of approval. You have to accept so that the nation goes forward. You should let bygones be bygones; you never know maybe one day you can be the winner.”
Prophet Andrew Wutawunashe of the Family of God (FOG) also took a dig at opposition politicians for cannibalising the nation by fighting political battles at the expense of the general people.
“If we continue in the futile, adversarial and power-seeking politicking, which is solely based on the destructive opposition whose sole end is political power, we will abort the path to our own God-given prosperity. Let us, as we pray, heed the clarion call to unite and address our differences and work together for the agenda of strengthening and building our nation, which holds great dividends for our people,” he said.
“While our nation, just like other nations, has its own fair share of problems, the answer does not lie in cannibalising our own nation and the future of our own children by bowing to foreign powers.”
In the same vein, the controversial man of the cloth commended President Mnangagwa’s administration for upholding freedom of worship and supporting indigenous churches that had for a long time played second fiddle to foreign denominations.
“Your Excellency, through your governance, there has been the provision of proper means of communication among indigenous churches to strengthen them and rebuild the churches. We must applaud him for that.”
ZIICC patron and Zion Christian Church (ZCC) Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi said churches were not involved in politics nor were they political puppets, but had a God-given mandate to pray for the nation and its leaders.
“We have thought to take our place as the church of Zimbabwe, but not focusing on politics but on our God-given mandate to be God’s intermediaries to his people. We are only here to pray for the leaders and pray for the country and to help work together and do all we can to maintain peace.”
Mutendi went further to appreciate the President’s Vision 2030 Agenda and urged members of indigenous churches forum to endure the suffering that comes with aiming to achieve government’s Vision 2030 goals.
“We must survive the hardships we are experiencing. This is a passing phase. Wake up! This is your country. Do not give false information to the outside world but seek solutions from the Lord,” said Mutendi.
“We want to use the gift of God to enhance and firmly embrace the President’s Vision 2030 Empowerment Agenda. We applaud the work our President is doing in uplifting our souls in prayer. We appreciate his work,” he said.
In his address, President Mnangagwa hailed church leaders for their rallying call for unity saying the broader society must emulate the example set by the clergy and also committed to addressing concerns raised by churches, including access to land for purposes of worship as well as other viable programmes to materially promote their development.
With 2020 having been declared a year of production, the President implored churches to inspire their members to hard work and production in line with the national vision. He said the initiatives being undertaken by the Government to transform the country’s economy needed to be complemented by divine intercession. The President, who demonstrated his spiritual side by regularly quoting biblical scriptures, implored the nation to commit its aspirations to the Almighty.
“However, as a country; we must pray for divine protection, economic prosperity and peace without ceasing. The Bible commands us to pray and to give thanks in whatever circumstances we may find ourselves in. 1 Thessalonians 5 verse 17-18 Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. We must always commit all our national aspirations to the Almighty God; casting our burdens to him for surely he shall sustain us,” said the President.
He implored churches to “be visible and relevant to Government development initiatives” such as the devolution programme.
The President pledged to immediately address grievances raised by indigenous churches, in particular, access to land for worship.
“Turning to your genuine concerns you have raised, in particular, the possible special consideration in accessing land for worship in both rural and urban areas, let me assure you that responsible authorities will look into the matter with the urgency it deserves. Equally, we have established institutions to deal with the youths, women, people with disabilities and SMEs, among others,” he said.
VP Chiwenga, in his remarks, applauded President Mnangagwa for offering the indigenous churches a platform for dialogue, which was part of his promise to be a listening President.
“Since assuming the leadership role of the Second Republic, His Excellency President Mnangagwa has indeed lived up to his promise that he is a listening President who welcomes ideas and dialogue from all walks of life,” he said.
The VP said the work being done by ZIICC clears the road to the “promised land” for Zimbabwe to become an upper-middle-income by 2030, adding that churches play a complementary role in fighting current scourges such as the machete-wielding gangsters.
Elsewhere, Zanu PF Buhera South legislator Joseph Chinotimba was filmed dancing in worship at the open-air ceremony clad in Zion Apostolic Church robes. Before joining politics, Chinotimba was a prophet in the Zionist sect.
Check out the video of MP Chinotimba dancing to a ZCC song, Ndire Ndire below:
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