THE Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHCD) has been slammed for its decision to accept a call by President Robert Mugabe’s government to pray for rain as a severe drought looms.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
A group calling itself the Zimbabwe Christian Prophetic Voice said it was saddened by the “apparent pandering of the ZHCD to the whims of a corrupt and insensitive government”.
Mugabe, who turns 92 next month, is currently holidaying in the Far East amid seasonal speculation that he is “seriously ill”.
The ZHCD last week accepted a call by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko to cause Zimbabweans to hold prayer sessions for rain in order to avert a looming crisis.
Businessman Shingi Munyeza, who represented the ZHCD told journalists that the country’s leadership as well as the “church had sinned and needed to repent”.
But, Zimbabwe Christian Prophetic Voice spokesperson Pius Wakatama was not impressed.
“First of all, what spiritual authority does Mugabe have to call the nation to prayer? How can a loving God use the leader of a corrupt, oppressive and inhumane secular State, which rules through fear, to call God’s people to prayer?
“As far as we understand the scriptures, there is a great divide between the State, which is the Kingdom of this World and the Church, which is the Kingdom of God. In their relationship, which should be complementary, the Church is definitely not subservient to the State,” the group said.
“When Caesar overstepped his bounds, the early Christians made their scriptural position very clear: ‘We must obey God rather than men’.”
He said true prophesy was when the Church admonishes the State and calls upon it to do justice.
“The real prophet is today saying to the ZHCD: How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked,” Wakatama charged.
He questioned Mphoko’s moral authority given the fact that he has remained holed up in a luxurious hotel a year after checking in despite a public outcry.
“Who is Mphoko? Is he not the Vice-President who could not find a house ‘suitable for a man in his position’ in Zimbabwe, including a $3 million Ballantyne Park mansion? Instead, he chose to live in a five-star hotel for a whole year at the cost of $250 000 paid for by starving Zimbabweans, 90% of whom are jobless,” the statement said.