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Mnangagwa quotes Bible in praise of Pastors for Economic Development

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday quoted a number of Bible verses while heaping praise on Pastors for Economic Development (Pastors 4ED), a controversial Zanu-PF aligned pressure group.

Addressing several pastors who support Zanu-PF at the City Sports Centre in Harare, Mnangagwa who is said to be a member of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, quoted several verses praising clerics for supporting his government.

At the event, Mnangagwa was also honoured with a Gown of Adornment and conferred with an Ordination Certificate of Recognition and Honour by the Zimbabwe Union Council of Churches and Pastors for ED.

“This jubilant occasion is indeed a manifestation of Psalm 133 verse 1, ‘It is pleasant when brothers dwell together in unity’. It is the day that the Lord has made, let us all rejoice and be glad as we gather at this Pastors for Economic Development Conference,” Mnangagwa told a meeting held under the theme “Ideology, Empowering and Equipping the Clergy and the Church for Nation Building as We Honour the Ordained Leadership of the Land.”

The Zanu-PF leader also acknowledged that the event was being held a few days before Easter and encouraged the nation to love one another.

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“This conference comes a few days before Easter, which reminds us that God loved the world and gave us His only begotten son Jesus Christ, to die for our sins so that we may have eternal life. By the same token, we must equally use this event to re-commit ourselves to loving each other as one people and to patriotically and wholeheartedly serving our country

“I further commend the Pastors for Economic Development for calling upon the nation to pray for economic development as well as your recognition and support for my Government’s leadership in conformity to Romans 13 verses 3 to 7. We must all be good stewards over the nation of Zimbabwe which was given to us by God and work hard with wisdom to realise our national development aspirations and Vision 2030.”

Mnangagwa added: “After all, God in the book of Genesis, instructed us ‘to be fruitful’. Congregants in our churches must be encouraged to occupy the space through productive endeavours in the various sectors of the economy. Jehovah akati tichadya cheziya, naizvozvo, anokomborera mabasa emawoko edu. So we must work, we must be productive.

“As preachers, you also challenge our people to always seek a balance and live upright lives before God as encouraged in Matthew 6 verse 33 which says, ‘ . . . seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you’.

“Furthermore, according to Proverbs 21 verse 21, ‘. . . whoever pursues righteousness and love, finds life, prosperity and honour’.”

Mnangagwa said organisations such as the Pastors for Economic Development are scriptural and have a place in the country’s body politik even as Proverbs 14 verse 23 says “there is profit in hard work, but mere talk leads to poverty”.

“The biased theology that discourages hard work, prosperity and sustainable empowerment must be debunked. Under the Second Republic, our people deserve a higher quality of life and they should prosper and be in good health even as their souls prosper,” he said.

“Never allow yourselves to be swayed into using religion and the religious space as a tool to advance the nefarious agenda of detractors. Men and women of the cloth together with religious institutions should never be conduits for pushing regionalism, tribalism, division and other neo-imperial propaganda.

“This is our Zimbabwe, our only home given to us by Almighty God. We have our culture, beliefs, social values and norms. Let us therefore protect our nation from all kinds of evil defilement, under whatever guise.”

Twitter user Dominic Nyakudya slammed all the church leaders who attended Mnangagwa’s event saying:

“If your pastor was at the city sports centre for Pastors for ED program you should consider leaving that cult. True men of God stand for justice and righteousness like Jeremiah, Isaiah, Amos and other prophets,” Nyakudya said.