By Christopher Makaza
MDC Alliance has formed a National Chaplin`s Department (NCD) that will, among other roles, provide counselling services to MDC losing candidates, the Harare Post has established.
The move, sources revealed, comes amid increasing number of MDC electoral losers who go into depression soon after elections.
The NCD is being led by Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) pastor who is also the Mount Pleasant District Assembly Chair, Happymore Gotora. Apparently MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa is also a pastor in AFM.
According to a contact in the opposition party, the NCD has established an office at the Morgan Richard Tsvangirai (MRT) House. The contact said the establishment of the Chaplin`s department was in line with a resolution that was adopted at the MDC’s 5th congress held in Gweru, to penetrate the religious community ahead of the 2023 election.
The contact said the opposition party discovered that religious leaders were very influential in mobilising support, hence the need to create the NCD.
Apart from counselling losing candidates, the contact said other NCD objectives include co-ordinating and presiding at funeral services for party members, carrying out humanitarian activities on behalf of the party, complementing the party in spreading its ideology to the religious sector, working with Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civic Society Organisations (CSOs) in coordinating MDC activities and sourcing funds from local and international donors for party activities.
The contact further revealed that the NCD is in the process of setting up Provincial Chaplin Departments in all the country’s provinces. He indicated that so far the party has established PCDs in Bulawayo, Harare, Matabeleland South and Midlands.
In Masvingo, the contact revealed that the PCD was established on Monday where former MDC-T ward 6 councillor, Apostle David Chimombe was elected as the PCD Provincial Chairman. Christian Voice International Zimbabwe Pastor, Lement Zenda will deputise Chimombe, Presbatarian Church Pastor Kudakwashe Mutimwe is the Provincial Secretary while Alliance Church Pastor, Phillip Mugabe was elected Provincial Treasurer.
The contact said the Bulawayo PCD was established on 13 July at a meeting attended by representatives from AFM, Roman Catholic, Reformed Church in Zimbabwe, Assemblies of God, and Madzibaba Apostolic Sect among others.
The Bulawayo PCD is headed by AFM Pastor, Obert Manduna who is deputised by BICC Church Pastor, Frank Mhlanga.
Selection of other Bulawayo PCD Executive members was abandoned prematurely after realising that all the leadership posts were being taken by Shona people. The MDC Provincial leadership were then tasked to mobilise the Ndebele people to fill the remaining posts.