George Maponga in Masvingo
Indigenous churches have been challenged to shun squabbling and unite to foster development for their followers taking advantage of a climate of peace and economic development ushered in by the new dispensation under President Mnangagwa.
Chiefs council president Chief Fortune Charumbira urged local churches to avoid fights over succession saying it was prudent for them to rather expend energies on nation building to complement efforts by
President Mnangagwa’s government to transform Zimbabwe into an upper middle income society by 2030.
Chief Charumbira,who is also the president of the Pan African Parliament(PAP) ,was speaking during a holy communion ceremony of the African Apostolic Church (VaApostora veAfrica) at Ndarikure near Chaka business centre recently.
The African Apostolic Church, which is led by Archbishop Paul Mwazha has been riven by infighting over control of the church with the courts, last year, nullifying the appointment of one of his sons as successor by ruling that the church founder remained at the helm.
The church, which has technically divided into two factions, saw two groups holding separate holy communion ceremonies at the sacred Ndarikure shrine this year.
Chief Charumbira, however, expressed dismay at raging divisions rocking some indigenous churches saying similar threats had also threatened to choke the Johanne Marange Apostolic Church following the death of Mutumwa Noah Taguta.
“Let us shun these divisions that always rock our churches because of fights over succession, I am talking as a chief and think that our church leaders should work in unison and concentrate on development and growth of the church helping government to build a morally upright society,’’he said.
“I am happy that I am seeing bishops who walked the journey with Archbishop Paul Mwazha until he physically disengaged from active church activities and this shows that this(African Apostolic Church led by Bishop Israel Mwazha) is the real church of Archbishop Mwazha.’’
He went on to also urge the African Apostolic Church to unite and pray for prosperity on the African continent to end a host of challenges stifling development.
“I have been sent by President Mnangagwa to apologise on his behalf for failing to make it here for this Holy Communion because of other commitments but he has asked me to request you to reschedule the appointment to a future date,’’said Chief Charumbira.
The chiefs’ council president commended the African Apostolic Church for drawing a huge crowd to its Holy Communion saying the bumper crowd of followers gathered at Ndarikure showed the church was having a direct an continuing impact in the lives of the majority of Zimbabwe.
Chief Charumbira also appealed to the church members to continue rallying behind President Mnangagwa ahead of next year’s elections saying his visionary leadership was beginning to bear fruit through a host of infrastructural projects sprouting up around the country.
“I also want yo ask you to pray for President Mnangagwa and thank him on my behalf because had it not been for his unrelenting support I would not have landed the Pan African presidency. I want to thank the
President so much and I am indebted.’’
Speaking at the same event Chief Chirumhanzu, Mr Fidelis Mudzengi urged indigenous churches to rally behind President Mnangagwa and his government.
Chief Chirumhanzu said President Mnangagwa deserved another tenure in office during next year’s elections as he was a pragmatist whose fingerprints were all over several developmental projects being rolled out nationwide.
“I want to urge you to pray for peace and also remember to continue supporting our President Dr ED Mnangagwa who has been rolling out developmental projects that seek to uplift the nation into an upper middle income economy by 2030.’’
The chief cited the ongoing rehabilitation and widening of the Harare-Masvingo-Beitbridge highway as ample evidence that President Mnangagwa was a hands on person and was committed to improving the welfare of the generality of Zimbabwe.
Besides stemming runaway carnage due to the road that was now too narrow for increased vehicular volume the rehabilitated and widened road is also a key ingredient for speedy movement of land cargo.
Headman Chaka in his speech pledged to offer Archbishop Mwazha’s church more land to accommodate their growing band of followers after realising that their designated shrine at Ndarikure was overwhelmed.
The Holy Communion ceremony attracted the church’s faithful from across Zimbabwe and beyond.