You risk being cursed, Chikukwa warns media

The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs for Harare Province, Miriam Chikukwa, last week stunned members of the media with a warning that they risked being cursed if they lied when reporting on matters linked to religion.

Chikukwa was giving a vote of thanks at a press conference called by Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi on religious tourism after hosting a visiting Kenyan bishop, Climate Irungu.

Chikukwa a senior pastor at Irungu’s church, surprised journalists by saying: “When you report about religious issues, I warn you never lie about what concerns God because the curse that will be smeared on you will be (there) forever. The Bible says ‘touch not my anointed’.”

“Where did that come from?” one journalist quipped afterwards. Mzembi had his own surprises, saying: “When I finish my mandate in 2018, the legacy I want to leave is that I planted more churches than pubs.” He urged journalists to regard their jobs as a calling. The minister said he saw religion as one of the main tourism drivers in Zimbabwe as it contributed $18 billion to the global market annually. “In the past, we knew of leisure tourism but religion is set to become one of the major branches alongside health and sporting tourism,” he said.

He said annual gatherings that included the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God’s Africa prayer mountain in Bindura, the United Families International of Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa and pilgrimages by Anglicans to Bernard Mizeki shrine near Marondera would generate significant revenue inflows to the fiscus. These activities boosted the hospitality and transport sectors significantly, he said, and should be registered for taxation.

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