Religious leaders should work towards uniting Zimbabweans in order to foster development this year and beyond, Acting President Dr Constantino Chiwenga has said.
Speaking to journalists after witnessing the ordination of eight Roman Catholic deacons at the Roman Catholic Church Cathedral in Harare yesterday, the Acting President called on all Zimbabweans to unite in prayer for the country.
He said the nation should turn to the church in seeking solutions to the social problems facing the country.
“It brings us joy when we see these young men making such a sacrifice, especially during these difficult times,” said Dr Chiwenga.
“We want the priests to help bring people together, to be united so that they can work towards the same goals.
“And to teach people to know that the most important thing is to remain united because we are here on earth for a very short time. After they finish their studies, during these nine to 10 years, we expect them to do the work of God and unite the people so that we can see the incidences of crime we are witnessing in the country being reduced.”
Acting President Chiwenga said prayer allowed individuals to distinguish between right and wrong.
“When you pray, your heart and mind evolve so that you can tell the difference between the good and the bad and you let go of the bad things.
“So we want everybody’s heart and mind to evolve so they can discard what is bad and take what is right.”
Archbishop Robert Ndlovu, who presided over the ordination ceremony, said the consecration of the eight was the last step before they were inducted as full-time priests.
“As Catholics, we were celebrating the ordination of eight deacons, which is the last step before one becomes a priest after this in six months’ time they can be ordained priests and assigned to different parishes or missions to work there,” said Archbishop Ndlovu.
“They have completed approximately eight years of their training and now we have assessed them and concluded that they can be ordained deacons and for the next six months they will be on a kind of internship, assisting here and there while preparing to be ordained priests in August if all goes well.”
Archbishop Ndlovu described the Acting President as a devout Catholic who had attended the mass to connect with God.
“He came in his capacity as a member of the church,” he said.
“He explained to me that tomorrow (today) he will be unable to go to church because there is a visitor — the Foreign Minister of China will be around — so he took advantage of this gathering that he could attend Holy Mass today (yesterday).
“It’s good to have one of our members coming to join us, especially one who is a position of responsibility.
“It also helps him in his work because he keeps in touch with the Lord in prayer and praying with the rest of the community also helps him and strengthens him in his work as a Catholic but also as a serving member of the Government.”