8 March 2018

Zimbabwe: Church Leaders Demand Ministry of Religion

Photo: The Herald
President Emmerson Mnangagwa (right) and Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi, left (file photo).

Local church leaders and elders have demanded a representative in Parliament and a Ministry of Religion.

Appealing to President Emmerson Mnangangwa when he was giving his motivational speech at the meeting between church leaders and the Head of State, Bishop Felix Mukonowengwe said as Christians they support the government of the day.

"We need some leaders of the churches to be in Parliament and we wish the voice of the church to be heard," said Bishop Mukonowengwe.

"We also need land to build churches as some of our land was taken during the land reform programme."

Responding to the request, Mnangagwa said his government was going to look into the requests. He mentioned the restoration of Day of National prayer and the issue of a ministry but warned the church leaders that Parliamentary affairs were different from Church business.

"I am not sure that it's a place for Church people, you need to have the thick skin of an elephant to absorb what happens in Parliament," said Mnangagwa.

"But we in government agree with you, you have a role to play in society, the role of inculcating strong molarity among our people."

He added, "Is it true that when we begin Cabinet we hardly pray, we just being work but in Parliament we pray before we begin business."

"But I think the concept of Minister of Religion is broader than mere praying."

On those that lost their land during the land reform programme Mangangwa said they must put forward cases for his government to look into.

"You have requested for the restoration for the National Day of Prayer, you should have done it yesterday," said the President.

"Let me assure you that freedom of religion is guaranteed in our Constitution and my administration shall continue to uphold the provisions of our Constitution."

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