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Mnangagwa guarantees freedom of worship

by Staff reporter
16 Jul 2023 at 09:16hrs | Views
THE message of unity, peace and love being preached by the Second Republic resonates with teachings of the Christian faith, while Government will always guarantee freedom of worship, President Mnangagwa has said.

He made the remarks yesterday while addressing tens of thousands of members of the Johane Marange Apostolic Church, who were gathered for their annual Passover in Mafararikwa, Marange.

The church estimates that over 250 000 of its members will attend the pilgrimage, which began on July 1 and ends on Tuesday.  In his remarks, President Mnangagwa said his Government gives utmost priority to safeguarding the right to freedom of worship.

"Here in Zimbabwe, in terms of our Constitution, the President is mandated by law to ensure that people practice their different religions, in their different ways. As long as I remain President, I will ensure that there is freedom of worship for churches to worship in ways that they so wish."

Zanu-PF, he said, has maintained sound relations with the Church since the liberation struggle.

"Philippians 4:13 says, ‘we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength'.  It was God that made us win the liberation struggle. Our relationship with the Church has always been excellent. We preach unity and harmony as a Government and we are also happy that the church always prays for us and helps us to maintain peace and harmony," he said.

President Mnangagwa said he was happy that the Johane Marange Church was complementing Government's development efforts through building schools and infrastructure that improves the wellbeing of communities.

"I am happy to see the many projects that you have embarked on as the Johane Marange Church. You have built many schools in all provinces. I have been told that in some areas they have stopped you from building. I told my deputy, Constantino Chiwenga, who is a soldier, to call those people who are denying you to order."

President Mnangagwa, who is also the ruling party's presidential candidate in the August 23 harmonised elections, said he was impressed by the large crowd that attended yesterday's event and implored them to vote for the ruling party.

"You have come in such huge numbers and it is gratifying to see. You should vote for the party that gave freedom to this country. You should vote for the party that is bringing you development," he said.

The President also said he did not hesitate to honour Johane Marange Apostolic Church leader St Nimrod's invitation. St Nimrod succeeded St Noah Taguta, who died in 2021.

"When I heard that you will have a Passover festival this week (last week), I was not hesitant to come," he said, adding that he was glad that there had been a smooth transition following St Noah Taguta's death.

The church said President Mnangagwa and Zanu- PF were guaranteed of its vote in the upcoming polls. Mr Daniel Chiambira, a senior church member who addressed the gathering, said Zanu- PF's reign was prophesied by the church's found father, Baba Johane Marange, in 1957.

"Our founding father, Baba Johane Marange, prophesied Zanu-PF's victory in 1957, and all devotees of this church will continue rallying behind the ruling party. Despite being poorly equipped to fight the Rhodesian forces, our freedom fighters managed to beat the enemy hands down, resulting in the independence of Zimbabwe. Victory is certain for Zanu-PF because it is a party for the present and future."

Another senior church member, Mr Steven Zhou, said President Mnangagwa found favour in God's eyes.

"No one will remove him from that office. We respect our leader High Priest Nimrod Taguta, and his closeness to President Mnangagwa will see all of us voting for the President. We will never associate with opposition parties. President Mnangagwa, be rest assured that you have the support and blessings of all the members of the Johane Marange Apostolic Church …"

President Mnangagwa also urged the church to vote for the ruling party's National Assembly candidate for Mutare West, Nyasha Marange, who is also a member of the church.

Vice President Chiwenga, Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza, senior Government officials, as well as Johane Marange church representatives from different countries across Africa attended the event.

Source - The Sunday News