Churches yesterday conveyed a message of solidarity to President Mnangagwa and condoled him over the recent loss of some members of his Cabinet, who succumbed to Covid-19-related complications.
The churches under the Zimbabwe Indigenous Council of Churches (ZIIC) that work under the ambit of the Faith for the Nation (FANA) campaign, also bemoaned the deaths of ordinary citizens due to the pandemic, with over 1 000 dead so far.
They handed over the solidarity message to Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Ezra Chadzamira for onward transmission to President Mnangagwa.
ZICC national chair, Reverend Andrew Wutawunashe said: “It is clear that our President has through the loss of both scores of the people he leads and serves, as well as of an inordinate number of comrades-in-arms who as members of Cabinet were strategic and faithful proponents of his dynamic vision for nation-building, has borne an unequal burden of the grief that now engulfs our nation.
“Your Excellency, we urge you to take comfort in the divine principle that the Lord sometimes takes away the best amongst us in order to compel us all to take a hard look at their exemplary service and sacrifices so that we are forced to emulate their example.”
Zimbabwe has lost Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Busi Moyo, Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Joel Biggie Matiza, former Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) Commissioner-General, Major-General Paradzai Zimondi, Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba and veteran nationalist Cde Morton Malianga within a week.
All of them were declared national heroes, with Dr Gwaradzimba and Cde Malianga already interred at the national shrine, in a rare dual burial.
Lt-Gen Moyo (Rtd), Dr Matiza and Maj-Gen Zimondi will be buried today at the National Heroes Acre in a triple burial, the first to take place at the national shrine.
ZIIC thanked those leading the fight against Covid-19 from the front, principally frontline health workers.
Rev Wutawunashe challenged churches and their leaders to be avenues through which those infected with the disease could open up for counselling.
The churches called on citizens to comply with the lockdown regulations for the nation to win the battle against the pandemic.
But ZIIC criticised social media abusers who mock people who die of Covid-19
“We have noted with great horror and anguish that there are callous, cowardly and unGodly individuals who are using social media to mock the dead whom they perceive as their political opponents,” said Rev Wutawunashe.
“We hasten to assure the nation that this deviant and unChristian behaviour is deplored by the majority of people from all political parties in this Christian nation.”
Rev Wutawunashe noted that it was important for Zimbabweans to heed President Mnangagwa’s call to unite across political and other divides in the fight against the common, invisible enemy.
Accepting the solidarity message, Minister Chadzamira paid tribute to local churches for supporting President Mnangagwa’s Government in time of great need.
He hailed ZIIC for helping the nation in its fight against various evils that confront it, including the illegal sanctions imposed by the West.
ZIIC worked with Government, said Minister Chadzamira, in dealing with the effects of Cyclone Idai which ravaged parts of Zimbabwe in 2019.
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