Tendai Kamhungira 14 November 2017
HARARE – Political parties are scrambling for the Christian vote ahead of
the 2018 elections, amid revelations that at least 80 percent of the
country’s eligible voters are church goers.
From the ruling Zanu PF party to the opposition, they all have been trying
to court Christians ahead of the elections, urging them to register to
vote in their multitudes.
This comes as President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace, met scores of members
of the apostolic sect recently in a move to win their support ahead of
next year’s polls.
In a statement, People’s Rainbow Coalition (PRC) – a newly-formed
coalition led by National People’s Party (NPP)’s Joice Mujuru – appealed
to all Christians to register to vote.
“PRC believes in the coming together of all progressive opposition
political parties against Zanu PF’s misrule which has created a Gushungo
(Mugabe) dynasty; overriding the country’s fundamental and constitutional
interests of freedom of worship and prosperity.
“Therefore, PRC celebrates genuine freedom of worship that is free from
the social ills of political contamination by political leadership that
seeks to promote self-serving interests of the Gushungo dynasty and
preaching of political hatred amongst Christians and Zimbabweans at
large,” PRC information department said.
The move by PRC to lure the Christian vote comes after Zanu PF held an
interface rally with members of the indigenous apostolic churches in
The party’s women’s league boss Grace conducted the rally, which was
attended by members of the apostolic sect.
The church and the apostolic sect in particular has recently become
political parties’ favourite hunting ground. In the run up to any
important election, Zanu PF politicians are well-known for trooping to
church services convened by the various sects to win their hearts and
One of the most enduring images remain that of Mugabe beamed on national
television in 2010 while donning white garments and holding a knobkerrie
at a Johane Marange shrine.
Last year, State Security minister Kembo Mohadi torched a social media
storm when a video of him attending controversial Malawian preacher
Shepherd Bushiri’s church service where he was told he was destined for
higher political office leaked.
Recently, church leaders have been taking a keen interest in Zimbabwean
politics, with some calling for active participation of the Christian
community in the determination of the next country’s leader.
Recently, businessman Shingi Munyeza appealed to Christians across
Zimbabwe to participate in the country’s politics by registering to vote
in next year’s crucial elections.