President hails role of church in nation building
Zvamaida Murwira in Bikita
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has commended churches for complementing Government efforts to bring unity, peace and social cohesion in the country through delivering messages of righteousness, uprightness and good moral values.
He said churches were playing an important role in ensuring society upholds good morals while Government was preoccupied with improving citizens’ livelihoods.
President Mnangagwa said this yesterday in Bikita while addressing mourners during the burial of his grandson, Yasha Mafidi Mnangagwa, who died on Sunday due to respiratory complications.
Yasha, who was interred next to his great-grandfather, is son to Sean Tafadzwa Mnangagwa and was named after President Mnangagwa’s father, Mafidi.
“I want to heartily thank you, Methodist Church, which I also go to, you sang the whole night, ZCC I also want to thank you. We want to acknowledge the role played by the church.
It mitigates our burden as Government. Our wish is that in every place of the community there be a church,” President Mnangagwa said.
“The church and the Government play a complementary role. As politicians we say make money, stay well and preachers tell their followers to have good morals. I am sure preachers equally want their followers to have money and live well.”
He said Government’s wish is to ensure that people uphold good moral values.
“That is why we respect traditional leaders.
They are the custodians of tradition and heritage because there is no country that can develop where there is unrest.”
Briefing mourners on the circumstances surrounding the death of his grandson, President Mnangagwa said the incident has been painful for the family although they have accepted it as God’s will.
“We are gathered here because of our grandchild. Mbuya vacho, First Lady vangadai vataura asi zvino vabatikana nekuti zvanga zviri bhandi nebhurugwa. (The grandmother, the First Lady, should have spoken but she has been overwhelmed by emotions because they were very close),” he said.
The First Lady and her daughter-in-law Varaidzo, said President Mnangagwa, were equally close as they would travel together in the charity work done by Amai Mnangagwa across the country, with the latest being their visit to Kanyemba in Mashonaland Central province last week.
“It’s quite rare for a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law to be that close,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said it was painful to lose a grandson given that the usual expectation was that they were supposed to bury their grandparents and not the other way round.
He said that notwithstanding, as a family they had accepted the loss because it was God’s plan.
“As you know God has got His own way.
We cannot question or challenge Him. Earthly issues are different from Heavenly affairs. There is a provision to appeal on Earthly cases and on appeal, we have heard that Judges can be bribed but with regard to Heavenly affairs, there is no appeal neither can you offer a bribe,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said he heard about the illness of his grandson last Friday upon his return from Great Zimbabwe University in Masvingo where he had presided over a graduation ceremony.
“We visited our grandson in hospital where we were told that he had not properly swallowed food, the food went into a wrong pipe. I want to thank the medical team at the hospital, young and committed doctors,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said doctors continued to treat him and on Sunday morning, after his visit, it appeared he was on the recovery path and he left for his farm in Kwekwe.
“The doctors managed to pump out some of the food. On Sunday morning we woke up early in the morning and went there. His parents, aunts and other relatives were sleeping at the hospital.
Doctors advised that while they had managed to remove some of the food, there was now a problem of blood pressure and pneumonia,” the President said.
It was around 11am when he was called by the First Lady that they had lost their grandson and he had to return to Harare from Kwekwe.
Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga said the death of Yasha was quite painful.
“Tatemwa nerakagomara, kubaiwa pachipfuva chaipo (We have been hit hard, where it matters most,” said VP Chiwenga.
He implored the Mnangagwa family and their in-laws, the Mangwiro family, to be strong during this difficult time.
Zanu-PF Second Secretary and Vice-President Kembo Mohadi said the death of Yasha had drawn a huge crowd of mourners because of President Mnangagwa’s exemplary leadership.
“You have shown commitment to fight for the majority of people and free them from the yoke of bondage. Your leadership is exemplary in all aspects,” said VP Mohadi.
He said he was equally keen to emulate his leadership qualities and achievements.
“(Young) Mafidi completed his race, which was a five-year race and let us accept it. Who are we to say No. I know it’s difficult to accept,” said VP Mohadi.
Family representative and uncle to Mafidi, Emmerson Mnangagwa (Junior), thanked people from across the spectrum who had stood with them during the bereavement.
He said Yasha was a fan of renowned musician Jah Prayzah.
Mr Felix Mangwiro, father to Sean’s wife, Varaidzo, said the death of his grandson was a huge loss to him and his family.
The event was attended by several people from a cross section of the country ranging from politicians, captains of industry, church leaders, Government Ministers, Members of Parliament among others.