President Mnangagwa yesterday donated a consignment of 50 000 face masks to members of the Johane Masowe weChishanu Apostolic sect in Bulawayo as part of the fight against Covid-19.
The donation was handed over by Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Raj Modi during an event to mobilise support for Zanu PF in a build up to the 2023 harmonised elections.
The ruling party is angling to garner over five million votes and resoundingly win in the next harmonised elections, with each province expected to contribute an equal number of votes to attain that figure.
Deputy Minister Modi, also Bulawayo South MP, said the gesture by the President will go a long way in fighting the deadly pandemic, which has claimed more than 1 600 lives in Zimbabwe and infected nearly 40 000.
“Our President is a listening leader who is committed to the wellbeing of citizens, particularly during the era of Covid-19,” he said.
“This donation will help fight the pandemic and it is important for all stakeholders to emulate the President and play a role in the fight against the coronavirus.”
Deputy Minister Modi pledged to assist Johane Masowe weChishanu, which is struggling to raise funds for the construction of a multi-purpose centre, which will house an orphanage, old people’s home, a community centre and a nursery.
The church intends to set up an orphanage at its designated site in Selbourne Park.
During the event, which took place at the church shrine in Selbourne Park, the leader of Johane Masowe weChishanu, Bishop Emmanuel Mutumwa urged his followers to join Zanu PF structures.
“As a church, we have seen it wise to join Zanu PF because of the effective leadership of our President Cde ED Mnangagwa,” he said.
“There are a lot of developmental projects across the country that the Second Republic is doing in all sectors of the economy.
“As the leader of the church, I am convinced that as a church we should work with the Government, which is Zanu PF to push the development. I therefore urge our congregants to get involved so that Zimbabwe prospers.”
Bishop Mutumwa appealed to the Government to avail land for mining and farming to empower the elderly, women and orphans.
“As a church, we have a large following and we are therefore appealing to the Government to assists us by providing a farm and a mine to help economically empower our unemployed youths and boosting food security in the country,” he said.
“I believe a mine for the church will help empower the women and youths economically in line with Vision 2030. The farm will enable them to venture into various income generating projects.”
The church, whose history dates back to 1931, is head-quartered in Bulawayo with branches spread across the country.
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube commended the Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial executive for spearheading the mobilisation process.
“(The) Zanu PF-led Government under the astute leadership of President Mnangagwa is committed towards working with everyone including churches,” she said.
“Churches should promote peace and unity and I am glad Johane Masowe weChishanu is practising what they preach.”
Minister Ncube offered to assist the church to acquire land for mining and farming purposes.
“I heard Bishop Mutumwa’s request and tomorrow (today), you should come to my office so that I facilitate the issue of mining claims,” she said.
“As for the farm, Bulawayo is surrounded by Umguza and therefore Senator Molly Mpofu will look into that issue.”
Minister Ncube urged congregants to utilise the loan facility by the Women Empowerment Bank as well as accessing revolving funds from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development.
“There are policies, which have been put in place by the Second Republic, which is led by President Mnangagwa to create jobs and empower youths and women,” she said.
“As Zanu PF we will continue to work with churches and should they encounter any challenges they should not hesitate to engage us.”
Zanu PF Bulawayo provincial vice chairperson Cde Mnothisi Nsingo said the ruling party’s progressive development policies that resonate with the public and the party’s open-door policy is attracting new membership.
He said they were now targeting churches as they intensify the mobilisation of supporters in the city ahead of the next elections.