Churches critical for development – President

By Tichaona Kurewa

President Emmerson Mnangagwa says indigenous churches are key in promoting peace and development in the country.

He said this while addressing participants at an annual Zimbabwe Indigenous Interdenominational Council of Churches workshop in Victoria Falls this Friday.

“We in government would love to see all churches reaching out to everyone. If you can reach out to every household so that every home attends church, we will have peace, because the church preaches peace and harmony. If there is peace in the land, when we come and drill a borehole to give people drinking water and irrigation, no one will come and vandalise it.

“You help us in creating a peaceful and united country. It is easier to develop a country where people are united, where people are not fighting. Where there are no wars among people or communities, we can develop faster,” said President Mnangagwa.

The President also commended indigenous churches for being Pan-Africanist.

He said: “I wish to congratulate you and your leadership for creating this platform of indigenous churches. You are indigenous, and your ideas are local, your aspiration, your vision is local. I also believe that your wisdom is local; you are different from churches that take instructions across the oceans were they have no freedom to be independent and they relate to rukuvhute rwekwavo. That is the nature of the structure of our society; the established churches are recognised by our constitution. Indigenous churches are recognised by our constitution, so in terms of the law and the constitution you are all equal.”

ZIICC National Chairperson Reverend Andrew Wutawunashe and Patron, Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi pledged to champion peace in the country.

“The church our duty is to look after the welfare of the souls of the people and we are with you President Mnangagwa in the forthcoming elections. We are going to preach against violence,” said Reverend Wutawunashe.

“We regret incidences of violence perpetrated by enemies of the peace and unity of our nation and the lives and dignity of our people. We join you in calling on our people and political players to desist from violence and from political mischief,” noted Bishop Mutendi.

Formed in 2017, ZIICC has been working together with government in promoting peace and unity which are key ingredients in the country’s development matrix.