Mukudzei Chingwere-Herald Reporter
A united front representing Christian churches yesterday met President Mnangagwa to establish and improve relationships between church and State and see where they can work together for the development and harmony of Zimbabwe.
The Second Republic has taken a deliberate approach to engage and re-engage, on the international front the message has been maintained, back home the President is also engaging with opposition formations.
“It was their word to me. This was a courtesy call by all the churches together. They represent various denominations in the country. They decided to have a courtesy call on the Head of State and I accepted,” said the Presidents.
“I was so pleased that the entire church structure in Zimbabwe has come together and would want to work with the State and Government. So we are extremely pleased that we have reached this stage where the State and the church can have dialogue and share challenges, whether these are State or Government challenges or whether these are Christian or church challenges.
“We feel that the country is ours together. The challenges facing our people should be addressed by both sides working together. I am so pleased,” said President Mnangagwa.
The churches applauded Zimbabwe’s response to Covid-19, which had managed to minimise the death toll as well as open and resuscitate health facilities.
They were also supportive on the macroeconomic front where the economy is stabilising as well as successes in the agricultural sector and huge infrastructural development projects.
Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi of Zion Christian Church and Bishop Emeritus Naison Shava of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zimbabwe initiated the gathering of Christian leaders by establishing a relationship between the various groupings.
“We have come together as churches of all denominations with one voice. We should work together for the good of this country,” said Bishop Mutendi.
Bishop Emeritus Shava said the visit was to find a way of collaborating between the two institutions, the church and the State.
“Our task was, first to have the churches united, second to establish the relationship between the church and the State.
“This is historical, from the orderly formation of human kind there are two institutions which have to work together that is the religious institutions and the State,” said Bishop Shava.
Churches have worked together in matters of mutual concern for decades through the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations, as well as four groups that represent Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical and Apostolic traditions.
Vice chair of Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations Bishop Never Muparutsa said they applauded Government for the way it managed the Covid-19 pandemic and also talked of the importance of the amalgamation of churches.
“We have come together so that there is one voice for the church. One of the key issues we discussed here is the issue of Covid-19 where Government has done so to curtail and manage the Covid-19 pandemic. We want to deal with major issues in mutual understanding. The church and Government must respect each other because we are serving the same people,” said Bishop Muparutsa.
Zimbabwe Indigenous Inter-Denominational Council of Churches Chairman Apostle Andrew Wutawunashe said people are fully behind the President, imploring the international community to remove sanctions to boost the country’s developmental trajectory.
“We want the international community to listen and to get things like sanctions out of the way. So that the President has the opportunity to build the nation because the people are behind him,” he said.