Midlands Bureau Chief
Zion Christian Church Bishop, Dr Nehemiah Mutendi, has urged the Christian community to always support and work closely with President Mugabe for the country’s prosperity in line with the scriptures.Addressing thousands of ZCC members at the church’s centenary celebrations held on Sunday at the church’s headquarters in Defe Dopota area in Gokwe South, Bishop Dr Mutendi said his church will always rally behind President Mugabe and Zanu-PF because the President was a “God sent leader”.
He said Christians had a duty to work with the Government and support the country’s leadership as written in the Bible.
“We are proud of President Mugabe because he came from God. We are also proud of the country and its leadership, some of whom are here to congratulate us for attaining 100 years. We want to say congratulations to President and his party for winning the elections.
“It is because of their origins, where they came from and where they are going that they won the elections. Zimbabwe is our country and the reason God created the country was for us to occupy it. We support the (Zanu-PF) leadership because the Bible tells us that is the right thing to do – to support and be obedient to our leaders and Government.
“I am proud to lead people like you. I am also proud of the founding prophet of the church, Reverend Samuel Mutendi. I am proud of the church, Zion Christian Church, which is God’s Church,” he said.
Bishop Dr Mutendi said the ZCC would always rally behind President Mugabe and Zanu-PF because they shared the same background with his church.
He said ZCC was a revolutionary church just like Zanu-PF was a revolutionary party.
“As inscribed in the Bible, we are a product of the leadership. We are similar with them (Zanu-PF). ZCC is a revolutionary church just like Zanu-PF is a revolutionary party. Our founding father, Rev Samuel Mutendi, was arrested and persecuted by the colonial regime for starting a church that espoused African values.
The church sought to end poverty and treat sickness. He set up six schools in different parts of Masvingo and these schools were banished by colonial inspectors. They considered them to be springboards for resurgent African nationalism. More arrests and custodial sentences were to follow,” said Bishop Mutendi.
The ZCC Church leader said his father Rev Mutendi, a prophet, rainmaker and faith healer of note, and his followers were forced to pray and worship in private as doing so in public attracted the wrath of the colonial law.
He said ZCC was finally given permission to conduct prayers in public in 1937 without fear of police raids.
The church was officially registered in 1939 when the country was still known as Southern Rhodesia.
Sunday’s 100 years commemorations coincided with the celebrations of the life of Rev Samuel Mutendi who died on 20 July, 1976.
The celebrations of the life of the ZCC church founder are an annual event held in July.
Government ministers, namely Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa of Defence, Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, Minister of State in Vice President Joice Mujuru’s office, Cde Sylvester Nguni, Minister of State for State Security, Cde Sydney Sekeremayi, Minister of State, Cde Flora Buka and Midlands Governor, Cde Jason Machaya, Masvingo Zanu-PF Politburo member, Cde Dzikamai Mavhaire also graced the occasion.
Cde Mnangagwa said Zanu-PF Government was grateful for the role played by indigenous churches in developing the country.
He also expressed gratitude to the ZCC church members for voting for President Mugabe and Zanu-PF.
Cde Kasukuwere said the Government will forever be indebted to churches like ZCC which pioneered the concept of indigenisation.
Minister Nguni who conveyed VP Mujuru’s solidarity message said he was sent by the VP to tell ZCC members that Government will always be supportive of indigenous churches.
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