Prominent party officials turn to God

By Gift Phiri
HARARE - The Christian Alliance, a network of church leaders advocating justice and peace, has said it is sceptical about the unusual movement of prominent ruling party officials into leadership positions in various churches.
At least six top Zanu (PF) politicians have assumed le

adership positions in different churches as the ruling party battles to win the hearts and minds of this huge constituency.
Vice President Joseph Msika was ordained a lay preacher of the Anglican Diocese of Harare recently. Zimbabwe’s second Vice President, Joice Mujuru, whose husband is the massively wealthy and powerful former commander of the Zimbabwe National Army, was elevated to the position of Captain soon after the hosting of the Salvation Army’s All Africa Congress earlier this year. Mujuru has been an active member of the Salvation Army for a long time.
Policy Implementation minister Webster Shamu has applied to train as a preacher in the Methodist Church. Finance minister Herbert Murerwa is already performing lay preachers duties in the Methodist after getting a nod from church leaders last year.
Sources in the Methodist said it was given that Shamu would be allowed to train as a preacher given the amount of presents he donates to the church each Sunday.
Jonah Gokova, a founder member of the Christian Alliance and also coordinator of the Zimbabwe National Pastors Conference said: “One wonders if it is not a strategy to pacify the church. Church institutions should openly challenge repression.”
Gokova said while the upward march of Zanu (PF) leaders in church could be a desire to seek God, he questioned if the politicians understood the implications of the link between the political podium and the pulpit.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Rural Housing and Social Amenities minister announced recently that he was now a “born-again” Christian. He has already preached at several funerals and led various sermons in the Midlands.
“I feel I was called to the Christian world by God,” he said.
Ostentatious ex-Zanu (PF) provincial chairman Phillip Chiyangwa has also turned to God. He is now an active member of Faith Ministries and has donated a building to that church at Murombedzi growth point in Zvimba, President Mugabe’s rural home.
The Zanu (PF) commissariat has been specifically tasked with using churches and the clergy to shore up the ruling party’s dwindling support base. A confidential Zanu (PF) politburo report seen by The Zimbabwean read: “The churches in Zimbabwe is one of the sectors that have been identified to be quite hel(PF)ul in this respect (of drumming up Zanu (PF) support). To date the commissariat has identified and is already networking with over 600 pastors from Pentecostal churches and over 200 church leaders from African apostolic sects.”

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *