George Maponga in Masvingo
President Mnangagwa yesterday said he will never seek retribution against those who tormented him before he was temporarily hounded out of Government in November last year, saying he will continue to be an ambassador for peace, love and unity.
Addressing thousands of people, including members of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) who were gathered at Mnangagwa Farm in Masvingo at the memorial service of his late nephew Garikai Nyathi — killed in a road traffic accident near Nyika Growth Point in March this year — the Head of State and Government urged Zimbabweans to promote peace, love and unity in the country.
President Mnangagwa, who was subjected to incessant attacks by the former First Lady Grace Mugabe at Zanu-PF Youth Interface rallies, which culminated in his expulsion from Government and Zanu-PF on November 6 and November 8, 2017 respectively, said he will continue to preach love and unity among Zimbabweans.
“Wherever I go, I preach the gospel of unity, I preach the gospel of love, I always exhort Zimbabweans to unite, to live in harmony and work for the development of our country, and this will surely guarantee me a ticket to Heaven,’’ he jokingly said to roars of laughter from the crowd.
“Have you ever heard me preaching the gospel of hate? Those who used to do that are there and you know them, those who were at the receiving end of endless attacks (himself) always stood for what is right,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said he never thought that one day he would be President, especially after his unceremonious dismissal from Government by the then President Mr Robert Mugabe.
“God has his own way of doing things, is it not true? The day I left the country as a border jumper I never knew I was going to come back and be the person I am today. I was pre-occupied with thinking about how I was going to live in exile as a border jumper, but God plans in his own ways and what God plans, no person has the power to stop it.’’
He assured Zimbabweans that he will dutifully work as a servant of the people to lead the country to prosperity.
“I want to be a servant of the people, I want to continue preaching peace, love and unity, encouraging Zimbabweans to live in harmony. In the same line, I want to appeal to traditional leaders to promote unity and harmony in their areas of jurisdiction. I also want to thank churches for the work they are doing because there is no church that preaches the gospel of hate and encourages people to fight,’’ he said.
The President assured churches that he will continue to uphold the Constitution, which guarantees Zimbabweans the right to worship in churches of their choice.
“The truth of the matter is that Government is responsible for the physical needs of its citizens, but churches play the important role of moulding the spiritual aspect,” he said.
President Mnangagwa, who constantly referred to Bible passages, urged Zimbabweans to pray relentlessly for the country to prosper.
‘’There are some who might dismiss me, saying what is this man who was a guerilla talking about when they hear me preaching, not knowing that during that time (liberation struggle) we were also guided by God to win the war (armed struggle) and now we are asking for the same God’s hand for our country to have peace and prosperity.’’
‘’Now we are praying for peace, peace, peace, love, love, love, unity, unity amongst all Zimbabweans. We want all the churches to be free to worship, free to worship their God and I will make sure the Constitution of this country is observed for churches to be free to worship,’’ he said.
He took the opportunity to encourage politicians to be God fearing, saying being a President or a Cabinet Minister is not a passport to inherit the Kingdom of God.
President Mnangagwa said his administration will not relent in its quest to rid the nation of corruption.
Turning to his late nephew’s family, the President assured them that they will always be looked after.
The President narrated the late Nyathi’s history, up to the time of his untimely death in March and praised him for worshiping God during his lifetime.
President Mnangagwa also thanked Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi, the leader of ZCC, for taking some time off his busy schedule to join the Mnangagwa family in remembering Nyathi.
The memorial service was attended by top Government and Zanu-PF officials, among them Special Advisor in the Office of the President Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa and his wife Cde Monica Mutsvangwa, who is also Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs; and Senator Josaya Hungwe, who is Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs.