By Eric Mazango
ZION Christian Bishop leader Nehemiah Mutendi has urged members of his church to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
He said this whilst delivering a sermon to commemorate the 45th anniversary since the death of the church’s founding father, Reverend Samuel Mutendi, who died at Defe in Gokwe on 20 July 1976.
“I was vaccinated for coronavirus some months ago and again encourage all members of Zion Christian Church to follow suit. How can one feel proud to be a Christian but at the same time go around knowingly or unknowingly spreading the virus?” he asked.
“I have invited the vaccination team to come here to Defe to vaccinate everyone in the community,” he continued, adding that behavior change was the best way to contain the pandemic.
A nationwide lockdown was announced in mid-June, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa extending it by two weeks in mid-July as the country continued to see rising cases, with 2,113 new cases and 75 new deaths yesterday alone.
In February the government rolled out a free and voluntary mass vaccination exercise with the aim to reach 10 million citizens to achieve herd immunity by the end of the year. A total of 1.18 million people had received the first dose and over 640,000 the second as of yersterday.
In his online sermon from the church’s spiritual headquarters at Defe, Bishop Mutendi reflected on the life of Rev. Mutendi and said his history was not only told by those who witnessed God’s amazing glory in his life but it was also sung, as heard in the many songs that testify to his legacy.
He said Rev. Mutendi was an enormously humble man, despite commanding the attention of his followers, community, and even the colonial authorities who tried, in vain, to destroy his ministry.
He explained that even in the event of a small mishap like experiencing a flat tyre during a journey, the reverend would ask his travel companions what wrong they could have done to possibly raise the Lord’s anger.
Reverend Samuel Moyo Mutendi, was born in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, in 1880 and received his divine calling in 1913 before trekking to receive water baptism in South Africa in the 1920s.
He came back to lead the Zion Christian Church, with the church growing rapidly until his death in 1976 at the age of ninety-six.
This time every year, thousands of church members gather at the church’s headquarters in Defe, Gokwe but last year and this year Bishop Mutendi led the commemorative event online due to the coronavirus. – ZCC Mbungo