Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko has called on Zimbabweans to look up to God to spare the nation the worst effects of the hot weather conditions being experienced countrywide.
Acting President Mphoko said this yesterday during a service at the Family of God (FOG) church in Bulawayo where he pleaded with Christians to pray for rains in national prayer sessions that started on Saturday and will end on Sunday.
He said President Mugabe had urged the nation to pray for rains after realising that most parts of the country had not received meaningful rainfall since the beginning of the agricultural season.
“When you go out to the rural areas, it is so dry with no meaningful agricultural activity,” he said.
“This can plunge the country into severe drought. So we briefed President Mugabe who is on leave about the situation. He said we should call on the people of Zimbabwe to pray for rains.”
Yesterday afternoon, on the second day of the week long prayers, rains fell in Bulawayo and surrounding areas. The skies were then overcast for much of the afternoon into the evening, giving residents a welcome respite from the extremely high temperatures of the past six months.
Acting President Mphoko said President Mugabe was not forcing people to pray for the rains.
“He didn’t command that people should pray but he made an appeal,” he said. “We are appealing that people pray for the rains. Wherever we are, we should pray for rains. Let’s kneel down and pray because God can answer our prayers.”
Acting President Mphoko explained to the congregation that Zimbabwe was not the only country experiencing harsh weather conditions because of El Nino.
“Other countries are also experiencing severe weather conditions because of El Niño,” he said. “We understand that countries in South America like Bolivia are experiencing heavy rains. But for us we have to pray for normal rains.”
Family of God church founder Apostle Andrew Wutawunashe said the church felt challenged to be approached by Government to pray for the rains.
He said it was encouraging to see the country’s leadership recognising the importance of God.
Apostle Wutawunashe said Zanu-PF had shown that it is a God fearing party by documenting in its political manifesto its belief in Christ.
He said the country should remain united even in the face of challenges.
The FOG leader said pointing fingers at each other would not profit anyone.
The church’s Reverend Paul Damasane, who is also the principal director in the Ministry of Rural Development, Preservation of Culture and Heritage, said praying was essential as God was the one who sustained lives.
“We need to look up to God and pray for our nation for He is the sustainer of our lives,” he said.
He said the church had welcomed President Mugabe’s call to prayer and churches all over the country had pledged to pray for the rains.
Meanwhile, the Seventh Day Adventist church in Harare yesterday heeded the call to hold prayers for the rains.
Speaking at the launch of 10 days of prayer for the rains, SDA elder Mr Clemio Machingaifa said the prayers for rains were being incorporated into prayers the church holds at the beginning of every year.
“We noticed by the end of last year that there was going to be little rainfall, so we thought it best that we also pray for the rains besides praying for this nation and our leaders,” he said. — Bulawayo Bureau/Herald Reporters.