Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Jacob Zuma expected at church meeting in Bulawayo today

by Staff reporter
09 Aug 2019 at 07:25hrs | Views
FORMER South African President Jacob Zuma is expected in the country today for the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) regional conference to be held at Khumalo Hotel in Bulawayo.

He will address the church gathering and also visit the family of the late national hero Dr Dumiso Dabengwa in Fourwinds suburb to pay his respects following the death of the liberation icon in May.

Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Judith Ncube said: "I have spoken to their church leader who confirmed that they are expecting a visit from South African former President Jacob Zuma tomorrow (today). He is also expected to address the gathering."

Mr Zuma's spokesperson Mr Vukile Mathabela said the former President was invited by the local church leadership and it will be inappropriate for him to comment on his visit.

"Speak to the church. You know why? Because I don't know their arrangements as far as the media is concerned so we need to respect that. And when someone is being invited, you don't know their arrangements and we have to abide by that," said Mr Mathabela.

 UCCSA, which is the former London Missionary Society is the oldest church in Zimbabwe and has branches in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia. Zimbabwe is assuming the regional leadership.

UCCSA Zimbabwe leader, Reverend Sikhalo Cele, said although the church has branches in five Sadc countries it remains a single unit and Zuma would be attending the conference as a member of one of its wings.  

"There is an organ of the church called the Soldiers of Christ which has a conference every two years. The last one was held in Botswana in 2017 where I was elected president of the organ. Jacob Zuma is a member of that organ in South Africa so when we are having conferences all members come to that conference. So he has confirmed that he will attend the conference and will be addressing congregants," said Rev Cele.  

He however said he was not sure of the time when Zuma would be landing into the country, but is expected to address the congregants. He said the former South African president will also visit Dr Dabengwa's family.

"Dabengwa is a hero across Southern Africa and as a hero he also worked closely with Umkhonto weSizwe. Surely with the passing on of Dabengwa, if one has arrived in the city it will be noble that he visits his family. This visit, Zuma will do in his own capacity not as a representative of the church," he said.

Rev Cele said the public are free to attend the conference that ends on Sunday.

Source - chronicle