Last weekend, President Mnangagwa addressed thousands of Zion Christian Church faithful at the giant National Sports Stadium in Harare. His message was one of peace, love and unity — giving the Church a special role in the economic, social, political and spiritual aspects of the society.
Said President Mnangagwa: “In church you preach love, you preach peace, you preach unity, you preach forgiveness. We in the political arena, we also preach love. We preach peace. We preach unity and forgiveness. For our nation to prosper, we need to be united. We need to love each other. We need peace and we need to forgive each other.”
He also explained that: “Churches have to be ambassadors in (the) economic transformative agenda by helping to build a society free of crime, which shuns corruption and whose values are anchored on hard work, honesty, diligence and integrity. It is, thus, integral for the church to remain as the beam of hope for the world.”
President Mnangagwa’s message of peace and unity contrasts sharply with the divisive, hate-filled and demonic message conveyed by former First Lady Mrs Grace Mugabe in a similar fixture across town last year, the so-called “Super Sunday”, where she likened the then Vice President Mnangagwa to a snake whose head needed to be crushed. Churches say that they will never allow a similar scenario where churches become an arena of division and hate.
In fact, the whole “Super Sunday” charade happened because the cause of churches had been hijacked by political crusaders such as Makhosini Hlongwane, the former Minister of Sport, Art and Recreation, former Zanu-PF National Political Commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Zanu-PF Harare provincial commissar Shadreck Mashayamombe.
At the weekend, The Herald caught up with Zimbabwe Amalgamated Churches — and association of nearly 1 million worshippers — and its patron Jimayi Muduvuri answered various questions on the church.
On Super Sunday
“That programme was hijacked by Makhosini, Kasukuwere and Shaddy (Mashayamombe). I was supposed to coordinate the original programme when I was approached by churches who wanted to convey a message to the President on what they were unhappy with, but the thing was hijacked and I ended up being frozen outside by the G40 who used the former First Lady for their political ends.
“I was not part of that. In fact, I was told by Martin Dinha, the Minister of State for Mashonaland Central province, that the programme had been taken away from me. He even showed me the letter that Makhosini had written to Mudzidzi Wimbo. I still have a copy of the letter.
“On the day of the meeting, I was not even there and was not invited. I watched from somewhere on television. The meeting was not what we had planned and many of those in the crowd were not from our amalgamation and some of them had been bussed in by Mashayamombe who actually did a sacrilegious thing of buying material and making garments for non-church people.
“Some people called to tell me that most of the people who were there were not Christians but this had been designed to emasculate me and remove me. They wanted to bury me. You saw pictures of people drinking beer while in garments. It was all a fraud.”
After Super Sunday
“After the event, that very same day, all bishops came and said to me that, what has happened was wrong and they did not expect such kind of speech from the then First Lady. Some of our bishops had gone there but they came up shocked by what they had witnessed.
“They said we did not expect her to say such words before a church and if she had anything against the Vice President she should have led prayers for peace. You do not pray to God for your enemy to be hurt. Not even when you catch a thief in your house. That is not a good prayer. This was supposed to be a peace gathering and people were supposed to pray for their enemies — have peace prayers — but the opposite happened.
“When I saw all this I knew that this was so wrong. But when you look at this episode, you can tell that it was a blessing in disguise. It was partly due to that Super Sunday that events of last November were precipitated. Had they not taken place, we would not been having this new dispensation. So, it was God’s work!”
On Johannes Ndanga
According to Muduvuri, Johannes Ndanga, the controversial former leader of the Apostolic Churches Council of Zimbabwe was instrumental in bringing the former First Lady.
“It was after his congress in Bulawayo that he linked with Mashayamombe and Kasukuwere. You will remember that Johannes Ndanga was the one who had invited former Vice President Joice Mujuru to be patron and we had said we were not going to work with her when she was removed from that post. The churches refused to work with her that is how I was approached to be patron.”
On churches and the new Government
“We are praying and praising God for the current environment and the peaceful transition that took place. People are now realising there is God. If the Devil had taken over we would not have seen what we experiencing right now.
“We are praying for peace and guidance for the President who is focusing on the economy and bettering lives of the people of Zimbabwe. We must give him a chance. We are happy our bishops and pastors are having the freedom to pray without disturbances or being forced to pursue politics.”
Muduvuri was appointed last year to be patron of the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Churches when organisations such as Apostolic Association Churches of Zimbabwe (AACZ) which is a grouping of apostolic churches dumped the AACZ led by Mr Johannes Ndanga and the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe Pastors Fraternity and Union for the Development of Apostolic Churches in Zimbabwe (UDACIZA), which represents more than 400 religious groups were also among the organisations that endorsed Cde Muduvuri as patron of churches in Zimbabwe.