Bernard Mizeki pilgrimage roars to life

Bernard Mizeki pilgrimage roars to life

THE annual Anglican Church Bernard Mizeki pilgrimage roars to life today in Marondera with President Emmerson Mnangagwa expected to officiate at the annual event tomorrow.

More than 10 000 pilgrims from around Zimbabwe, the southern African region and the world at large, are expected to attend the event that commemorates the life of the martyr who died in 1896.

Mizeki was an African Christian missionary and martyr.

Roads leading to the venue, just 15 kilometres from the Marondera central business district, have been rehabilitated by the church.

Traffic volume to the venue increased in Marondera with Anglicans eager not to miss the first day of the commemorations, which are expected to end on Sunday, making their way to the shrine.

Anglican Council of Zimbabwe (ACZ) chairperson and Anglican Diocese of Manicaland Bishop Eric Ruwona yesterday said they were ready for the commemorations.

“We are ready for the commemorations, people have started arriving in Marondera for the first day of the commemorations slated for tomorrow (today). President Emmerson Mnangagwa is going to be the guest of honour on Saturday,” he said.

ACZ consists of five dioceses in the country.

Manicaland Diocese secretary Edmund Samutereko said they were expecting more than 10 000 pilgrims.

“We are expecting more than 10 000 people. We also have people from other southern African countries like Malawi and Mozambique who will be attending the main event on Saturday where there will be Holy Communion,” he said

The atmosphere in Marondera has livened up with the sound of celebrating Anglican Church members virtually all over the place.

“The commemorations also benefit the local community in terms of development among other things,” Samutereko said.

Mizeki was born in 1861 in Mamiyeri Mitseka Gwambe in Inhambane, Mozambique.

In January 1891, he accompanied the new missionary bishop of Mashonaland, George William Knight-Bruce, as a catechist among the Shona people.

He was sent to work in Marondera district and settled in the vilage of Mangwende Mungati.

In March 1896, Mizeki married Mutwa, the granddaughter of Chief Mangwende and a Christian convert. On the night of June 18, 1896, he was dragged from his home and stabbed.

Mutwa found him still alive and left to seek assistance but before she could return, she and others reported seeing a huge white light where they left Mizeki,  “like many wings of great birds” and there was a loud noise.

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