PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said Zimbabweans must not lose hope because of the obtaining economic challenges as they are a passing phase.
Addressing a capacity crowd of Zion Christian Church (ZCC) congregants during the Kudzika Mugomo conference meant to pray for the rains at the church’s headquarters in Bikita, President Mnangagwa who was flanked by the First Lady Cde Auxilia Mnangagwa and ZCC leader Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi assured the nation that the prevailing hardships will soon end.
The conference coincided with belated birthday celebrations for Bishop Mutendi who, like the President, was born on September 15. The bishop turned 79 this year.
President Mnangagwa thanked ZCC members for voting for Zanu-PF and himself as President in the last harmonised elections.
He reiterated that he would continue providing servant, subservient and listening leadership.
“I was happy when Bishop gave an anecdote of a woman giving birth. Sometimes Bishop is mischievous, but we know what women do when giving birth, the doctors tell her to push, push.
“After giving birth the mother who had been feeling pain, would be filled with excitement. Likewise, as a country, we should keep on pushing, as our happiness is nigh,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Of course we will have some puppies which will bark but that will not stop the country from moving forward.”
He thanked Bishop Mutendi who had spoken earlier for highlighting the importance of land.
He hailed former President, Mr Robert Mugabe for launching the land reform programme which saw many people owning land after living for years on crowded and arid land.
“There are others who do not listen and always talk of unemployment when land can be a panacea to all our economic challenges. Do you think if all of you here, with your numbers, look for employment, will you all be employed? I think working on land is more than being employed,” he said.
“At the turn of the millennium, our former President Mr Mugabe gave us land and it is now time to till that land –making it productive. We never chose to be between Zambezi and Limpopo, as a country, and Zimbabwe is now the Garden of Eden, it’s God who made that.”
The President said the church was playing a pivotal role in preaching peace and love, adding that politicians without love would always threaten to cause violence in the country.
President Mnangagwa, who also donated a tractor to ZCC, said the First Lady had also donated seed maize for the church’s women, as he supported Bishop Mutendi’s vision on farming.
He said those who fan violence do not have the light of God and should emulate the church that preaches peace.
“Those who preach violence zvimhesamukono, threatening to hold demonstrations, do not have the light of God. The one who wants unity will preach peace and love. I promise that my government will be listening and subservient to you .
“I will listen to every problem and share with you all the challenges that we face, as honesty remains key but through courage and commitment nothing will be insurmountable,” said the President.
Turning to Bishop Mutendi’s birthday, he said God had blessed the man of God by extending his life on earth beyond the years mentioned in the Bible.
“We were given 70 years to live on earth but Bishop and I have surpassed that and it is a gift from God to live beyond the limit. God has seen that Bishop has a lot to offer on this earth, to shepherd his flock. I say makorokoto, amhlophe, congratulations. May God keep his face shining on you and be gracious to you,” said the President.
He said Bishop Mutendi did not choose to be a church leader but was chosen by God like his late father and founder of the church Bishop Samuel Mutendi.
“I also know that as ZCC you have done many projects building schools, colleges and as the President not as your nephew I am prepared to support you. I support you because of what you do, develop our country. The founder, Bishop Samuel has taken you from darkness to light,” he said.
Also in attendance were Cde Davis Marapira, the Minister of State in Vice President Cde Kembo Mohadi’s office, Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister, Cde Ezra Chadzamira; Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Deputy Minister Cde Lovemore Matuke; Zanu-PF Politburo members, Zanu-PF Masvingo provincial youth chairman, Cde Brain Munyoro, among others.