Church lauded for cultivating peace
Zvamaida Murwira in KADOMA
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday commended churches for their role in preserving religious and Christian values, saying this has kept Zimbabwe peaceful and united, helping the country achieve sustainable economic growth.
He also challenged indigenous churches to rally their members to support the implementation of development programmes and projects that leave no one and no place behind.
The Head of State and Government said this yesterday at Donain, Kadoma in Mashonaland West province where he launched the African Christian Council International Zimbabwe Chapter, a collection of several denominations whose objective is to elevate indigenous churches.
“I applaud the role that Archbishop Johannes Nyamwa Ndanga and other prominent religious leaders under the banner of the Apostolic Christian Council are playing to collectively preserve, protect and promote our rich and diverse religious and Christian values. These values have kept us on the course of peace, unity, harmony and sustainable socio-economic development,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Let us therefore hold this ceremony in all happiness and jubilation as our beloved motherland, Zimbabwe, continues to witness the work of the faithful, loyal, supportive and obedient religious leaders.”
He said churches should play a role in combating vices such as drug abuse, corruption among others.
“As an ecumenical body, I challenge you to marshal your membership with regards supporting implementation of development programmes and projects that leave no one and no place behind, such as the National Development Strategy 1. I commend the congregants from various church denominations who continue to participate in the development programmes which the Second Republic is championing.
“Equally, we must through your organisation, see a paradigm shift towards supporting programmes that nip in the bud vices such as hate for one’s country, corruption, crime, child marriages, gender-based violence, the abuse of drugs as well as other retrogressive belief systems, among others. These have no place in the Christian society of today and the future,” said the President.
He commended churches for their resolute stance against the illegally imposed Western sanctions.
“Your efforts to call for the unconditional removal of illegal sanctions imposed on our country by some Western countries are most welcome. As you guide and oversee the growth of your membership, I urge you to insulate your membership from being used as willing tools to advance alien and foreign agendas,” said President Mnangagwa.
He chronicled Government achievements that include successive bumper harvests over the past two seasons which has seen the country attain food security.
Congregants attend the official launch of the African Christian Council International Zimbabwe Chapter at Donain in Kadoma yesterday. – Picture: Believe Nyakudjara.
“Our economy remains on a growth trajectory anchored on increased production and productivity in both the mining and manufacturing sectors. The Zanu PF Government is delivering with the construction and upgrading of our major national infrastructure well on course.
“I am also pleased that here in Mashonaland West province, high impact and people-centred projects including several classroom blocks and clinics have been completed under the devolution and decentralisation programme,.
Turning to the harmonised elections set for later this year, President Mnangagwa implored church members to value Pan Africanism as they exercise their democratic right to vote.
“I therefore call upon you the Church to rally your respective membership to exercise their democratic right, conscious of the Pan African values and principles that underpin this organisation and African churches. Zimbabwe’s vote must be a depiction of our values, identity and dignity.
“It must be an expression to advance our sovereign interests and quest for self-determination as well as to author our own development path. After all, ‘Nyika inovakwa igotongwa nevene vayo, Ilizwe lakhiwa libuswe ngabanikazi balo’,” said President Mnangagwa.
He challenged religious leaders to remain true and committed to their church’s founding values adding that he expected to receive a detailed and concise roadmap on how the church intended to partner the people of Zimbabwe and the Government in the quest to realise Vision 2030.
Yesterday’s event was characterised by an elaborate quotation of Biblical verses as the President sought to drive his message home to a predominantly Christian audience.
Earlier on Vice President Constantino Chiwenga implored citizens to desist from politically motivated violence.
He commended churches for being able to unite people regardless of one’s political persuasion.
“We need peace and unity in the country. For that to happen believers must remain united because we are praying to the same God,” said VP Chiwenga.
Archbishop Ndanga commended President Mnangagwa for turning around the country’s economic fortunes.
“Your footprint which has stepped at this holy place will remain for one million years to come. You are here because you are a listening President,” said Archibishop Ndanga.
He said the 10 religious leaders that were honoured yesterday distinguished themselves in the establishment of indigenous churches in the country, the continent and beyond.
Several church members said the visit to the area by President Mnangagwa was a good omen for their respective churches.
“This has never happened not only to our church but for this area. We feel humbled by the coming of the President. We are quite excited,” said Mrs Benetta Muduma of Village Three in Donain.
Mrs Choice Mtedzwa said President Mnangagwa’s visit to launch ACCI left a mark in the community.
“Our roads have been rehabilitated, we now have electricity and potable water. We are quite happy,” said Mrs Mtedzwa.
The event was attended by legislators, various church leaders and senior Government officials.