MASVINGO — Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa stunned worshippers at a Zion Christian Church (ZCC) pilgrimage at Mungo Shrine over the weekend when he declared he would evade hell and make a surprise appearance in heaven when he dies.
Mnangagwa, who admitted being an irregular church-goer because of his political commitments, said he was confident he would make it to heaven.
“I only know of political rallies. It is very rare for me to attend such holy gatherings. But, where I am called by whatever church, I go.
“I accept invitations even from the apostolic sects, Zion church, or every church. But don’t fool yourselves to think that you will not find Mnangagwa in heaven, you will find me there,” he said.
Mnangagwa was one of the senior Zanu PF officials invited to witness the conferment of the ZCC’s headquarters at Mbungo Shrine as a tourist attraction.
Nicknamed “Ngwena” because of his shrewdness in the Zanu PF succession matrix, Mnangagwa, like most party stalwarts who have taken their campaign to churches, urged the ZCC members to rally behind Zanu PF candidates during elections.
Speaking at the same function, church leader, Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi, said:
“Most people ask why I invite political leaders and associate with them, yet the Bible says spiritual leaders and politicians capture people and we therefore work side by side. God teaches the rulers to rule, that is why we called them to hear the Word. The government is there to work with the people,” he said.
Other high-profile politicians present included State Security minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Higher Education minister Stan Mudenge,Tourism minister Walter Mzembi, Masvingo governor and resident minister Titus Maluleke, Zanu PF politburo member Dzikamai Mavhaire, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority boss Karikoga Kaseke and Sylvester Maunganidze of the Tourism ministry.
Earlier this year, President Robert Mugabe and Vice-President Joice Mujuru visited the shrine.
Mzembi certified the imposing ZCC church as a religious tourist site and donated a giant public viewing area/billboard, a satellite unit, public address system with a stage and platform, as well as a 40-kilovolt generator.
The government gave the ZCC a farm to construct an agricultural university.