Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has called upon Zimbabweans to remain united and peaceful adding that challenges bedevilling the country will be overcome if people work as a collective.
The President denounced any form of violence and urged Zimbabweans to work in harmony for the socio economic development of the country.
President Mnangagwa said this while addressing multitudes of Zion Christian Church (ZCC) congregates at Defe Dopota in Gokwe South who gathered yesterday to commemorate the death of the church’s founder Reverend Samuel Mutendi.
Reverend Mutendi died in 1976 and every year in August, church members meet to commemorate his death.
President Mnangagwa was accompanied by First Lady Amai Auxilia Mnangagwa, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and his wife Mrs Miniyothabo Chiwenga among other senior Government officials.
The President, who left even current ZCC leader Bishop Dr Nehemiah Mutendi and church members asking for more, quoted several Bible verses which were read out supporting his Sunday service sermon. The President said Zimbabweans must be champions of peace and productivity.
“Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. God will be with you as you practice peace and harmony.
I call upon you to continue making Zimbabwe a peaceful country.
Our people should live in harmony, love each other and prosperity will be a blessing from above.
Wherever you are be a champion of peace, be a champion of production.
We must keep the spirit of harmony which the founder of ZCC preached,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said ZCC will be there forever as it was founded on the principles of peace, love, unity and harmony.
“ZCC is not an overnight church. It’s one of the churches that started during colonial rule and is still growing.
The church will go on even if you leave it.
This is a church that was built on peace, love, unity and harmony,” said President Mnangagwa.
Quoting Mark 16 vs 15 which reads, “and he said unto them go into the world and preach the gospel of peace unto all nations,’ President Mnangagwa said ZCC members should preach peace wherever they are.
“I call upon you to strive for peace, unity and harmony for the development of the country,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the Bible also says that those that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed.
Dear congregants, he added, the theme of the conference is peace and commemoration of heroes of Zion who preach peace and unity.
“This is what we are remembering today.
The theme speaks to the story of Reverend Samuel Mutendi and the overall national agenda of peace. Samuel Mutendi preached peace.
“Reverend Samuel Mutendi gave us practical lessons when he formed the church and started preaching the gospel of peace and salvation.
“He established this great church through hard work, determination, consistency which is what the Government is advocating for as it empowers the people,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said Reverend Mutendi wasn’t deterred even when he faced oppression at the hands of the colonial masters
“He against all odds persevered and established the church. We have a duty today to carry this message we have a duty to the God of Samuel who gave him the wisdom to preach peace.
“We must leave a legacy or good inheritance to the future generation because our work will follow us,” he said.
President Mnangagwa commended the existing relationship between Government and ZCC saying the church preaches peace and unity always as well as works towards the development of the country through various initiatives.
“ZCC is involved in a lot of good work aimed at developing the country.
ZCC is involved in education and has many schools running.
In September 2020 I had an honour to tour ZCC agro industrial park in Masvingo and that’s a huge development by the church aimed at developing the nation,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said ZCC is involved in a lot of production programmes that develop the nation.
“My Government will continue to facilitate and support churches on production and productivity and change people’s lives,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said God is a God of peace and harmony who blesses those who advocate for peace.
President Mnangagwa said come the 2023 harmonised elections, the church should vote for the ruling party which is a people centred party.
He said Zimbabwe remains a unitary State adding that the unity and democracy in the country can never be sold.
“There is only one party that liberated the people of Zimbabwe from the bondage of colonialism and that’s Zanu-PF and you must vote for Zanu-PF.
Reverend Mutendi advocates for the liberation of black people.
We must walk with that spirit and hope, the spirit of peace and spirit of national building.
Our peace and unity are not for sale.
Our unity and democracy can never be sold. We must reject violence of any kind we must always pray for peace, walk peacefully and exalt peace,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said Zimbabwe is a single country which has one name and one flag with 16 national languages.
“We only have one revolutionary party and that is Zanu-PF that will maintain the heritage,” said the President.
He said there are challenges bedevilling the country but added that working as a collective, the country will overcome them.
“We had opportunity to talk of challenges faced in this area.
Bishop Mutendi raised a number of issues and I want to promise you that the Government will address them.
We know this year we didn’t have adequate rains.
Some districts have hunger but no one will die of hunger because we have stock at GMB,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said Government is working on mitigating against climate change which is affecting rain patterns by construction of many dams.
“We’re looking at 450 ha to be put under irrigation and if we do irrigation we will be food sufficient.
That is why we are constructing dams to mitigate against climate change.
“We want to construct two dams in two rivers in Gokwe.
We agreed that the construction of the two dams will be put in November budget and construction will resume.
We got a donation of six rigs and one is coming here to drill boreholes until we have water all over.
Until every need with regard to water is satisfied,” said President Mnangagwa.