President Mnangagwa speaks on churches

by Christopher Makaza

President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday opened up on the relationship between churches and the government saying the bond between the two parties, which dates back to the protracted liberation struggle ,cannot be broken by some men of God hiding behind the pulpit to push a regime change agenda.

President Mnangagwa`s sentiments follows a controversial and inciting letter by the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishop Conference (ZCBC) dated 14 August 2020 titled “The march is not ended”, which attacked him and his Government, claiming a false crisis in Zimbabwe.

Addressing members of the Politburo yesterday, President Mnangagwa who is the ruling party’s First Secretary said even in post-independent the ruling party has continued to work and enjoy good relations with the Church.

“In the post-independence period, we continue to work well with the Church to advance the national development agenda, as a united people.

“However, it is most unfortunate when men of the cloth begin to use the pulpit to advance a nefarious agenda for detractors of our country,” said the President.

President Mnangagwa commended citizens for ignoring the Catholic Bishops` regime change machinations. He said the men of cloth dabbling in politics should make a choice between being politicians and shepherding the nation as the clergy.

‘’They must come out and form political parties. As Zanu PF, we are ready for the 2023 elections. We are a people’s party that believes in unity, love, peace and in championing development. We fought for the empowerment of our people,” he said.

The President said Zanu PF and Government detractors are on an overdrive to discredit Government and the ruling party`s programmes to destroy people`s confidence in the Government.

“Following their crashing failure, our detractors are evidently in disarray and desperate, and grasping at straws to destroy confidence in our democratically elected Government.

“They are equally on an overdrive to discredit our people-centred programmes,” he said.

The Bishops` letter lacked respect for the country`s leadership as it exaggerated the Zimbabwean situation. The Catholic Bishops are acting like mouthpieces of the opposition political parties in Zimbabwe, attacking Government policies and Zanu PF.

The Zimbabwe Indigenous Inter-denominational Council of Churches (ZIICC) has since distanced itself from the Catholic Bishops letter, saying they don’t share the same views with the Bishops describing the letter as nothing  GB, but propaganda meant to paint a picture of the Government as intolerant and corrupt.