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ED has turned a deaf ear to the voice of God


editorial comment

IT would appear that President Emmerson Mnangagwa learnt nothing from his predecessor, the late Robert Mugabe’s missteps, despite serving as his confidante for over 50 years, hence his glaring blunders on issues where he should show true statesmanship.

Mugabe, when odds were in his favour, used to publicly chastise church leaders who pointed out his shortcomings, but later visit them with bended knees on the eve of an election knowing they would back him.

When Mugabe was hounded out of office by his most trusted lieutenants, Mnangagwa included, the church chose not to stand with him, but joined the public in celebrating his ouster.

Mnangagwa appears to have taken the same route, hoping the church will forget quickly and give him a helping hand in his hour of need.

After Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa recently tongue lashed the church for pointing out the ‘new dispensation’s heavy handedness, the least Mnangagwa should have done was to apologise to the church than stoke more fire by chiding and daring them to join the political ring.

For Mnangagwa, a person who has branded himself as a listening President and reformist, many would have expected him to gracefully take the church’s advice as part of helping the nation heal from over four decades of conflict instigated by hate speech.

The Catholic Church has been one of the main voices of reason, calling political leaders to order when they disregard human rights. In 1977, the Catholic bishops criticised the Rhodesian government for violating the rights of the blacks during colonial rule and after independence, documented rights violations by Mugabe as part of efforts to heal the troubled nation.

From the Bible, church leaders and prophets were sent by God to deliver messages to leaders of that time. God always intervenes whenever there is injustice against his people. The priests on the receiving end of Mnangagwa’s tongue lashing are the voice of God.

The church did not call him to resign, but just advised him to respect the rights of the people who voted him into power. Only a disillusioned leader would get offended by such advice. Mnangagwa should accept criticism; that is the hallmark of good leadership.

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