President Emmerson Mnangagwa has called on Zimbabweans at all levels of society to emulate the unity shown by the churches at the Prayer Meeting held at the National Sports Stadium on Saturday 1 February 2020.
President Mnangagwa made the remarks at the inaugural event of the Zimbabwe Indigenous Interdenominational Council of Churches (ZIICC) titled National Day of Prayer that was held under the theme: “Joining our hands, hearts, minds and voices together in Christ to serve, build and strengthen our nation”.
The key Message was a call on the whole nation in all its sectors to stand united and strengthen themselves to work in line with the famous scripture, “Let us rise up and together build our nation ….” Nehemiah 2v18.
ZIICC was birthed with Bishop Mutendi as Patron to build unity of indigenous churches of Zimbabwe with the purpose to serve, build, strengthen the nation and her leaders through prayer and home grown solutions.
“I would like to thank the Church for its nation building work. The church has and is still building schools, hospitals and engages in various social programs. Government will work on giving access to land for worship and wealth creation to Indigenous churches. I am glad that the church is supporting our Vision 2030 programs. Zimbabweans at all levels of society, should emulate the unity exhibited by the churches,” President Mnangagwa said.
Quoting Bible scriptures, the President called on the Church to pray without ceasing, giving thanks at all times, and inspire communities to hard work and promote productivity to ensure that they reaped the benefits of devolution.
His Number 2, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, thanked the church for creating a platform for all stakeholders to move the nation forward and
thanked President Mnangagwa for offering the indigenous churches a platform for dialogue, and for being a listening President.
Apostle Andrew Wutawunashe of the Family of God Church said a new working of grace was evident on Saturday in that over a hundred churches and denominations and their leaders had defied the differences that separate them and had bridged that long standing divide to form a united front and umbrella body known as ZIIC.
“The churches, guided by the Word of God, will maintain a Biblical relationship of the State (as king) and the Church (as Prophet) in which the church prays for, offers godly advice and counsel and, should it be necessary, correction and reproof. The indigenous churches, who have the majority representative voice of the people of Zimbabwe, for example, when calling for the lifting of sanctions, seek to serve the people under crippling disadvantages such as lack of land and financial resources as opposed to foreign founded churches who, instead of amplifying the voice of the people against sanctions, are completely silent. These are the churches that enjoyed the support of colonial governments and today, of foreign institutions,” Apostle Wutawunashe said.
He lauded the government for upholding freedoms of religion and keeping open lines of communication with the church. The Man of God called on Government to support indigenous churches as colonial governments supported the churches that came along with them by crafting viable programs to materially empower indigenous churches to better serve the people, and also to take seriously their voice as the voice of the people.
He encouraged the nation to defy all differences and unite to build and strengthen the nation.
“True strength comes from inside through accepting the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives individually and honouring Him as a nation,” he added.
ZIICC patron Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi said the Churches had come together as the Church of Zimbabwe with Zimbabwean roots and no foreign control to participate, not in politics, but to better occupy its space to pray for the nation and its leaders. He said Government must acknowledge indigenous churches and afford them the same privileges that colonial governments gave to churches they came along with.
His counterpart, Bishop Roderick Makusha of Deeper Life Ministries urged MDC-Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa to move on beyond the 2018 elections, join others in building the nation and wait for next elections and try again.
Several prayers were made for the nation by people like Bishop F. Mukonowengwe, Dr Patience Hove, and others for for national concerns such as natural disasters, the economy, unity and security, the disadvantaged, youth women and people living with disabilities.
Thirty thousand people from Zimbabwe’s rural and urban communities, and mostly from over thirty five church denominations that included Zion Christian Churches, Pentecostal Churches, Apostolic Churches, Prophetic churches and Evangelical Churches with their leaders including Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi as Patron, Apostle Andrew Wutawunashe as Facilitator, who were joined by other leaders such as Apostle Abel Sande, Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa and many others. Traditional leaders, people from business, politics, parliament and judiciary were in attendance.