REDCLIFF — Thousands of impoverished former Ziscosteel workers and their families will today converge at Torwood Stadium, for an all-afternoon vigil to seek divine intervention for the revival of the dormant steel giant.
The prayer meeting comes three years after President Robert Mugabe officially cut the ribbon to symbolise the official opening of the dormant Ziscosteel (New Zimsteel) in a $750 million share takeover by Essar Africa, but the company has remained closed.
Church leaders from different Christian denominations met at Redcliff Municipality offices yesterday afternoon to make final plans for the prayer meeting which they expect will bring the hand of God for the company to be opened.
Redcliff mayor Freddy Kapuya confirmed the meeting which he said had been mooted after church leaders noted with concern the untold suffering being endured by most residents in the mining town.
“We are hoping the God will remember us because the suffering our people here are going through is not only heartbreaking, but also has the effect of taking the whole generation backwards,” Kapuya said.
The church leaders said they had invited Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa to grace the occasion and join them in prayer for the resuscitation of Southern Africa’s former steel giant whose furnaces were switched off in 2008.
“The VP was invited like everyone else to join the family in prayer and we hope he joins us. This is not a political event and therefore the churches will take a leading role,” Kapuya said.
This is the second time church leaders and workers have converged in common purpose and taken their concerns to the pulpit for a divine solution.
The shutdown has pushed over 3 000 former employees into abject poverty and turned them into panners. Joint workers’ committee chairman Benedict Moyo said he would also be attending the prayer session.