LEADERS of some local churches stoked controversy yesterday when they said the State House should not be occupied by unpatriotic politicians, in reference to the opposition MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa.
Since the days of the abrasive tiff between Robert Mugabe and MDC founder Morgan Tsvangirai in the early 2000s, Zanu PF has always accused the opposition of being unpatriotic and of selling out to their Western allies.
Speaking yesterday at a national thanksgiving and dedication service held at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo, prominent church leader Bishop Trevor Manhanga laughed off at the opposition saying it was disjointed and unpatriotic.
“There are a lot of opposition parties. The MDC has finished all alphabetical names. There is only one leader, sit down and follow,” said Manhanga, a Pentecostal Assemblies Church of Zimbabwe leader, adding that there was no vacancy for unpatriotic politicians at the State House.
Manhanga went on urge exiled G40 politicians to return home and help President Mnangagwa rebuild the country.
The alleged G40 members include former ministers, Jonathan Moyo who is based in Kenya, Savior Kasukuwere, Patrick Zhuwao, Walter Mzembi and Godfrey Gandawa, who are reportedly holed up in South Africa.
The former Zanu PF gladiators fled the country in 2017 after Robert Mugabe was removed by his military chiefs in a coup supported by the opposition MDC leaders.
This was after their plot to push then First Lady Grace Mugabe into the Presidium was torpedoed by the army.
Meanwhile, another prominent cleric and leader of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) Nehemiah Mutendi said the country must pray so disputes that characterised previous elections do not recur in the upcoming 2023 elections.
“Let us all work to achieve peace now, let us find peace with each other. Disputed elections divide our beloved nation. They derail our development plans, they hinder our progress, there are no winners, we are all losers.
“Let us teach the people, let us be one, let us unite. It was the last wish of Joshua Nkomo (late Vice-President),” Mutendi said.
Mutendi added that the economic policies pursued by President Mnangagwa were bearing fruit and Zimbabweans must remain resilient against the sanctions imposed by the United States.
Another church leader, Apostle Andrew Wutawunashe of the Family of God Church urged churches to rally behind Zanu PF saying it was the only party that had a solid programme that empowers individuals, institutions and communities.
The annual event was held under the theme Pursuing Nation Building Initiatives in the Spirit of Godly Patriotism Ownership Unity and Inclusiveness.
Earlier on, President Emmerson Mnangagwa had told the prayer meeting that Zimbabwe is heading into by-elections early in 2022 and all parties must remain peaceful in their campaign activities.
He also paid tribute to Roman Catholic priest Father Emmanuel Ribeiro who died this year.