10 December 2018

Zimbabwe: Church Urged to Pray for Leaders

The church should heed President Mnangagwa's call for peace and unity in the country which in turn fosters development, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said leaders come from God hence it was the duty of the church to pray for their leaders.

Minister Mutsvangwa said this during a service to bid farewell to the Anglican Church's Harare diocese dean, Bishop Dr Chad Gandiya, who is retiring on New Year's Eve.

Dr Gandiya will be succeeded by former dean of St Mary and All Saints Cathedral in Harare, Dr Farai Mutamiri, who served as dean from 2008 before moving to Canada.

"I am happy to be here to witness Bishop Gandiya's farewell. The church is the best religion for our nation as it brings unity. We have our President Mnangagwa, who is talking about the importance of unity, and making sure that we remain in a peaceful country. If there is unity, there is peace which fosters development," she said.

"What we need in this country is for us Zimbabweans to love each other. The church should promote love and unity among each other. The church should also promote forgiveness. We are Zimbabweans first and our country requires us to love each other, to unite and move together for the success of our beautiful country."

Minister Mutsvangwa said the church should also preach tolerance amongst different political parties.

"For us to go far as a nation, we need to tolerate each other no matter the differences we may have, be it politically or religiously. After the harmonised elections and the inauguration of a new President, it is the duty of every church to pray for their leader so that God grants him the grace to lead them," she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa congratulated Bishop Gandiya for the role he played in uniting the Anglican Church saying he took over when the church was deeply divided.

She then chronicled how she was baptised to be a member of the Anglican Church, her wedding in the church and the teachings of tolerance that the church imparted to her as an individual.

Bishop Gandiya said it was with great joy and satisfaction that he was retiring as head of the diocese of Harare.

He said that he had no regrets in retiring after serving for 20 years as a priest and nine-and-a-half years as a bishop.

"After I was ordained, we went through a terrible time, untold suffering, arrests, the ridicules and the teargas, but our God was with us. He remained faithful to our diocese. The five years in exile were difficult years. God increased our numbers and blessed us materially. That is how our God is," he said.

Before Bishop Gandiya was inaugurated, there was a long-standing dispute between the rival factions, one of them led by excommunicated Archbishop Nolbert Kunonga over control of church property.

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