I am not sure whether he is a devout Christian himself, but his apparent staunch belief that his innumerable visits – as times, dressed in their various regalia, including long garments – to the varied church organizations, will somehow guarantee him huge votes come election time, is nothing less than delusional.
He is clearly oblivious to how the ordinary Christian mind works!
For starters, there are those who join the faith purely for a strong relationship with Jehovah God, through being saved in the name of His beloved Son Christ Jesus – whose hearts are pure, are not interested in matters of the world, but merely want a righteous life on earth, as a preparation and precursor for the promised eternal life in heaven with God.
These Christians, myself being one of those, loath a sinful lifestyle, and strive to reject conformity to the standards of this world – thereby, not guided by lustful interests (be they, freshly pleasures, worldly power, or the love for riches), and believe in speaking out and standing up against injustices and oppression of others.
For someone like Mnangagwa to honestly expect such people to support his heinous and hideous corruption-riddled immoral regime would be purely delusional.
On what grounds would someone like myself, find a ruling elitist privileged clique – which thrives on the brutal suppression of the ordinary citizenry, through barbarous cold-hearted ruthlessness, whilst enriching themselves at the expense of a subjugated and impoverished populace – acceptable and pleasurable?
Surely, how would that be in line with my faith and beliefs?
Furthermore, Christians of such principles – not driven and motivated by the love of money – can not be bought or bribed into siding with those whose acts are diametrically opposed to the teachings of the God we worship, since “an unjust man is an abomination to the righteous, and he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked” (Proverbs 29:27)?
We stand by our avowed convictions, no matter if we remain in poverty, or are persecuted and shunned, due to our firm unflinching stance against the oppression and suffering of the children of God, at the hands of those appointed to lead, protect, and care for them.
Besides, the same Jehovah, whom we worship, unequivocally declares that we should “open your mouth for the voiceless, in the cause of the condemned…and plead the cause of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8.9).
Honestly, can anyone imagine the Apostles Peter, John or Paul supporting callous brutal leaders as King Herod?
In fact, was John the Baptist not thrown in jail, and eventually had his head chopped off and delivered to Herod on a silver platter, after he boldly accused him of committing adultery by taking his brother’s wife (Herodias) – (Mathew 14:1-13)?
We witnessed the same unquivering faith and stance with such Prophets as Samuel (who rebuked King Saul for his disobedience to God – 1 Samuel 13:13), Nathan (who spoke out against King David for his adulterous relationship with Beth-Sheba and his subsequent murder of her husband Uriah – 2 Samuel 12:1-14), and Elijah who castigated and stood firm against King Ahab and his wife Jezebel, with their false prophets who had chosen to worship Baal (1 Kings 18).
So, why should Christians be any different?
Of course, we do have those who claim to be followers and believers in Jesus Christ, yet are motivated solely by greed and the pleasures of this world – whose supposed faith is largely directed towards the attainment and accumulation of worldly riches, and the hope of being taken out of poverty and sickness.
I will not speak ill of such people, but I genuinely believe their faith is not led by any real aspirations for a life with God in His eternal kingdom – but, more to do with what they can get here on earth, than storing their treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19).
As Jesus Himself alluded to, after a huge crowd had followed Him a day after He fed five thousand men from only five loaves and two fish, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because of the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled” (John 6:26).
Even such Christians – as much as their convictions may appear built on a weak foundation of sand (Matthew 7:24-27), and can easily crumple when confronted by the cares of this world, and are corruptible – may also reject advances by the Zimbabwe ruling elite, if nothing directly meant to benefit them is offered.
Indeed, their church leaders may have already fallen by the wayside of God’s teachings – being the ones inviting this bloodthirsty savage ruling military junta to their gatherings – most probably, as a result of some handsome perks having been awarded to them, such as land, mining claims, and even monetary perquisites.
From my own deductions, those in power in Zimbabwe appear to harbor a misguided delusional belief that these ordinary church goers can easily be twisted and manipulated by their seemingly all-powerful leaders into voting for the ruling ZANU PF party in elections.
Well, this may be missing the point, and betrays a lack of understanding of how most of these congregants’ minds operate.
Indeed, on the surface, they may appear to the outsider as some brainless brainwashed robots, who can be made to do practically anything and everything by their church leaders – having witnessed some rather disturbing incidents in these organizations, at the instigation of their supposed “men of God”.
One fact evades many – these followers only agree to perform these dastardly acts in the desperate desire for worldly gain, such as promised salvation from a life of poverty, healing from sickness, or marriages and childbearing – however, may not be so agreeable to anything else beyond those perimeters.
As such, being urged to vote for a political entity that has authored their misery and pain – which pushed them into the dishonest and manipulative hands of those church organizations, in the first place, would be overly ambitious for the ruling elite.
Granted, they may reluctantly and begrudgingly agree to attend some national events, and even chant slogans – only as a matter of church duty, usually in fear of being considered rebellious – but, when it comes to the secret ballot, those in power may be in for a shocking result.
Did we not witness the same scenario during the recent 26 March 2022 parliamentary and local government by-elections – whereby, the ruling ZANU PF lost to the opposition CCC at polling stations within prison and security forces camps, in spite of these people’s believed rabid anti-opposition fanaticism?
Therefore, no matter which angle those in power in Zimbabwe want to look at their endless missions to various church groupings – the brutal truth may be too much for them to swallow – since the final result at election time will most likely not be what they invested all that time and energy for.
© Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp/Call: +263715667700 / +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936 / +263733399640, or email: [email protected]Post published in: Featured