PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has once again pleaded for divine intervention to end the resurgence of the deadly coronavirus pandemic across the world.
This comes at a time when neighbouring South Africa has reported a new Covid-19 variant, known as 501.V2, which has been blamed for the rising infections.
Mnangagwa was the guest of honour at the fourth Annual National Thanksgiving and Dedication Service attended by various religious leaders and their congregants at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) grounds, yesterday.
The event was convened by founder of the Family of God Church, Reverend Andrew Wutaunashe, who is also chairperson of Faith for the Nation Campaign, an inter-denominational grouping of local churches.
In his address, Mnangagwa emphasised on the need by all stakeholders to come together in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic which had, as of Friday, claimed 341 lives in Zimbabwe
“We must equally redouble our prayers as this pandemic is on the resurgence, and seek God’s protection as a nation. While the rest of the region, the continent and the world suffered heavily, I believe that our God Whom we praise as a nation protected us to date,” said Mnangagwa.
A number of countries have now suspended flights from South Africa while health experts have called on the Mnangagwa government to urgently close the borders to prevent burdening the already struggling health delivery sector.
“While we continue to fast and pray for an end to the Covid-19 pandemic as it requires a spiritual and humble petition for God’s protection, I urge us all to comply with guidelines by my government guided by the WHO,” Mnangagwa said.
“On our part as government we have chosen the spiritually correct path of working with the Church in pursuit of our vision and for Zimbabwe we shall serve the Lord sincerely and faithfully.”
The president extended an invitation to church leaders to visit the State House for a prayer and fasting against the pandemic.
“Upon the attack by Covid-19 pandemic, at this stage we appeal to the leaders of our churches to come to State House and pray on behalf of the nation and of us.”
This is not the first time Mnangagwa has sought divine intervention to tackle the pandemic. This year he declared June 15 as Presidential Day of Prayer and Fasting to seek answers against the outbreak.
He, however, urged the Church to be part of the national development agenda as part of the move to foster economic progress in the country.
Meanwhile, Mnangagwa pointed out that the country’s progress depended on “peace in our nation, and in the countries surrounding us. There is no country that will develop in environments of violence but countries develop in environments of peace, tranquillity, love and unity.”
He added: “We thank God for the peace that continues to prevail in our motherland Zimbabwe. Let us pray that God will give us wisdom as leaders of the southern Africa, Sadc and Africa Union, Africa continent to seek lasting solutions to address unconstitutional insurgencies both internal and externally driven.”
Mozambique is battling an Islamist insurgency that has killed over 2 000 people, and displaced nearly half-a-million others. Sadc leaders have been meeting to deliberate on the Mozambique question but there has been no commitment to deploy soldiers against the Islamist militants.
Meanwhile, Wutaunashe has urged the Church to play a role in unifying the nation as he thanked Mnangagwa for giving the clergy a platform to participate in nation building efforts.
“The president is walking the talk of building the nation in an inclusive manner in which he is involving the Church at the forefront in the spirit he is continuously calling for peace, love and unity. In the same breadth, we appreciate the nation’s bishops and church leaders who have risen to the core of defending this nation by giving thanks for the nation together with the pesident and praying for the nation,” Wutaunashe told the gathering.
He added: “We appreciate you for not isolating yourself as Christians in the divisive religious corners. As I continue to appeal to the Church as the president has also appealed to the Church and other constituencies of our nation that the Church must lead patriotically in unifying the nation and bringing it before God.”
Meanwhile, the renowned cleric said Zimbabwe owes its independence to the intervention of God in defeating the former colonisers.
“I want you to understand that God always liberates nations by killing their oppressors read your Bible, in Exodus he drowned an entire army in the Red Sea, and we believe God drowned colonialism and slavery with the same power. We should clap our hands to the Lord for empowering us to have a free nation, and dignity to worship Him as free men and women. The sacrifice of a man like … Mnangagwa who sacrificed that freedom be there, was a calling from God,” he said.