Christian leaders invade political arena

Veronica Gwaze
ON July 30, Zimbabweans will go to the polls to elect the people who will represent their interests for the next five years.

Unlike in the past when Christian leaders often took a back seat in the political process, there has been a significant increase in the number of the clergy seeking political office.

Reverend Dr Kenneth Mtata, the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, said church leaders, like any other citizen, have a right to seek political office.

“We are also human beings and part of society. Seeking political office is a personal decision that however, requires prayers and spiritual wisdom. As our duty is to convince people to turn people to God, we are in a sense politicians,” Dr Mtata said.

Dr Blessing Kasiyamhuru, the leader of the Zimbabwe Partnership for Prosperity (ZIPP), is among the many Christian leaders running for political office.

Together with 22 other candidates, Dr Kasiyamhuru is eyeing the presidential seat.

A member of the Apostolic Faith Mission, Dr Kasiyamhuru said the country needs a God-fearing leader.

“We have tried everything and failed. What we need now as a nation is a God-fearing and anointed leader. God called me into politics to redeem and restore the pride of the nation,” Dr Kasiyamhuru said.

A strong believer in “spiritual intelligence,” Dr Kasiyamhuru said the church cannot be separated from politics.

“Politics began in heaven and if we read the Bible, we find that God himself had functional leadership structures. I believe God is the ultimate politician who appointed Kings,” added Dr Kasiyamhuru. He gave examples of biblical kings Samuel, David and Solomon, whom he said were anointed by God.

Dr Willard Taonezvi Mugadza, leader of the Bethel Christian Party and one of the presidential hopefuls, said he took an active interest in politics after receiving a prophecy from Nigerian Bishop Fred Addo.

According to Dr Taonezvi, Bishop Addo prophesied that Dr Mugadza would be celebrated and honoured as a political leader.

Dr Taonezvi said Bishop Ado said, “I am just going to touch you like God has commanded and when I do, you will be celebrated in a few weeks from now. Congratulations my son…God will honour you, he will take away every reproach from you.”

Bishop Addo allegedly added, “There is a government on your shoulders, I see an exalted seat. You are about to be called to sit on it.”

Dr Taonezvi said an anointed cloth was draped around his neck, signifying the mantle that was used by Elijah in the Bible. “Leadership is a calling and I believe Zimbabwe needs a God-anointed leader. Through prophetic guidance, God had entrusted me with leading this nation,” Dr Taonezvi said.

Pastor Vimbai Tsvangirai Java is eyeing the Glen View South National Assembly seat. She said she received God’s calling to represent the people.

“I grew up in a Christian family and as a pastor and generally a church person, I am always with the people. l know their concerns first-hand. The experience that I have as a pastor puts me in good stead.”

“To me, politics is about being genuine to the people. God has taught me to serve those in need and I will rightfully do so if elected.”

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