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Prophet urges Church leaders, Ndebeles to rise up, lead the revolution in Zimbabwe

by Mxolisi Ncube
03 Feb 2017 at 12:08hrs | Views
JOHANNESBURG - A church leader sent a hard-hitting message Thursday, challenging Zimbabwean Christians and Ndebeles to "wake up" and lead the revolution, as a tidal wave of change sweeps across the country lately.

During an exclusive interview with Southern Times Express in his home in Broncospruit, Mpumalanga, Prophet Cleo Gabriel Ndlela of the Spirit Tabernacle Ministries fell short of calling fellow Zimbabwean Christian leaders and Ndebeles of Southern Zimbabwe and the millions living in the Diaspora - cowards, when he said they should stop sitting on their laurels and lead the on-going peaceful fight against a fully entrenched system set up and maintained by the government of President Robert Mugabe.

A survey by the International Republican Institute revealed that Zimbabweans now have more faith in religious leaders than they have in constitutional bodies and politicians. According to findings of the "Survey on Local Governance and Constitutionalism", released by IRI in Johannesburg in October 2015, religious leaders scored a 38 per cent approval rating followed by traditional leaders (26), way ahead of constitutional bodies that include the police (17) and the political party supported by respondent (15).

As the already comatose Zimbabwean economy continues to deteriorate further, a greater part of the country's industrial area has been turned into what Prophet Cleo called a "Getseman place", as churches have invaded firms that previously employed most of the country's township population.

The church leader said this was evidence enough that the time was ripe for Christians to lead the peaceful revolution against the current system of governance, which has relegated the majority of the country's population to a life of abject poverty and perennial fear.

"Zimbabweans, especially Christians, should stop running away from the revolution. Running away from your country's revolution is as good as running away from yourself," said the 32-year-old Prophet Cleo.

"As church leaders, we should stop being cowards and rise up to lead the revolution for the good of our children and the future generation. We should stop running to comfort zones in the Diaspora or hiding behind 'it shall all be okay' and 'God will answer our prayers'. God answered our prayers long back when he gave us Zimbabwe and its resources. It is now our duty to make things right by leading the revolution – not against a certain party and individuals, but against a fully-entrenched system that has affected and continues to affect our people. President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) are not the enemy, the system is and Mugabe did not implement the system alone. He had people supporting him. The fight should now move away from concentrating on certain individuals and or a party into a full revolution against the system. We need to change the system and not just individuals."

The clergyman drew inspiration from the bible, saying even Jesus himself died fighting against a ruling government, for the good of the people so he could liberate and prepare them for his kingdom.

"Jesus fought against the Romans for the good of the people, so who are we to shy away from politics? We should lead the fight against a system that continues to adversely affect those we witness to, those we minister to," said Prophet Cleo.

"Politically and economically, Zimbabwe is in total darkness right now, but you see church leaders - pastors and prophets, living large and telling their congregation that things will be okay. Realistically speaking, what can be okay in an economically arid country like Zimbabwe? You can only pray for people and tell them things will be okay in an economically sound country, not Zimbabwe. Nothing can ever be okay in that country where a greater part of the cities has been turned into a Getseman place, with churches opening in places that used to form the backbone of the economy - places where people used to work and earn a living. People cannot live on prayer alone.

"Pastors, prophets and other church leaders are living luxurious lifestyles and driving posh cars, while their congregation is suffering and living in abject poverty, while telling them things will be okay. What kind of God are we praying? It is high time we rose up and led our congregations and the rest of the country in this peaceful revolution. Whenever we say God is real, we must prove it by leading our flock to the Promised Land.

"You cannot just shout in Zimbabwe and proclaim that things will be okay. Let us stop being hypocrites. An prayer without action is a crippled prayer. It is a useless prayer. Christians must all get into politics and drive the change to make those things okay. With the economy in tatters, multitudes of Zimbabweans have run to hide in the church. The church has become the biggest constituency in Zimbabwe and that is why pastors and prophets should lead the revolution and spearhead change by telling our congregations to stand up and do something about the situation."

The hard-hitting Prophet Cleo also rallied the youth to stop believing that change would come from geriatrics and outsiders.

"It's high time we stopped placing our faith in old people and outsiders. Zimbabwean change will not come from old people - they have run their race and failed. It will not come from Americans, the British, South Africans or any other outsider. Our change must be driven and achieved by us. None but ourselves. We are the ones who are suffering, we are the ones who feel the pain, we are the ones who know what kind of country we want and therefore, we must be the ones driving this revolution, in our own terms and to our own purposes," added the STM leader.

"Ecclesiastes 10:19 says, 'A feast is made for laughter and wine makes merry, but money answers everything'. A country without money can't answer problems of people; a nation without money can't solve its problems. Christians must have money so that the economy can be helped.

He supported Pastor Evan Mawarire.

"Pastor Mawarire is a true man of God who knows that the time is ripe for Christians to take a stand and fight for what is right. He understands that Christians have now been given power to change the situation and I support his ideology," added Prophet Cleo.

"I wish all Christians and Christian leaders could stand up and support him in one voice. A man of the cloth has started the revolution, but he is now under attack by the system, let us all stand up and defend him. Let us stand up and defend his ideals because they are our ideals. Let us not start something of our own, but let us all rally behind him and fight in unison. Standing together, we can bring change. Mawarire is a giant who has stood up even when all the other religious leaders are dead scared. He has shown that he truly has Zimbabwe in his heart. If you can lead a church, you can lead a nation. Leaders are not created but born and he is a leader. For decades we have been praying and speaking to God, it is now time we spoke to people."

Quoting Deuteronomy 15:7-11, Prophet Cleo said, "If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward them. Rather, be open-handed and freely lend them whatever they need. Be careful not to harbour this wicked thought: "The seventh year, the year for cancelling debts, is near," so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be open-handed toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land."

He also challenged the rest of the population to join the fight and not leave it to a certain tribe or population.

"We have seen Shonas lead this revolution. Where are the Ndebeles, the Chewas, the MaBarwes, the whites, the Kalangas, the Koisans, the Nambyas, the Shanganis, the Sothos, Tongas, Tswanas, Vendas and Xhosas? When we sit on our laurels and let just one tribe lead the revolution, won't we cry foul tomorrow and claim that we are being side-lined when they do things – each according to their contribution?

"This revolution should be fought in unison. Let us rise up and force the current government and every party that is in parliament to task and tell them our demands."



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