Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday implored churches and citizens to be instrumental in promoting unity to ensure there is peace and stability during the by-elections slated for the first quarter of next year.
The by-elections were necessitated by deaths and recalls of MDC-T members from Parliament and councils.
There are 133 seats up for grabs in Parliament and councils. Most MPs and councillors were recalled after the Supreme Court ruled that Mr Nelson Chamisa was not the legitimate leader of the opposition MDC-T.
Government last year suspended by-elections as part of measures to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Addressing congregants during the 5th edition of the annual National Thanksgiving and Dedication Service at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Grounds in Bulawayo yesterday, President Mnangagwa said every citizen has a role to play in the development of the country.
“I want to highlight that in 2022, the country will be holding various electoral processes. I appeal to the church and citizens in general to play an active role in ensuring that peace and stability prevail in our country,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said the church must entrench a culture of hard work and honesty among congregants as the country forges ahead with nation-building initiatives meant to improve livelihoods and achieve Vision 2030.
President Mnangagwa urged churches and other stakeholders to complement Government efforts in promoting the country’s economic growth and development in pursuance of the national vision of transforming the economy into an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
“Under the Second Republic, all of us have a role to play. As we go into 2022, I call upon the church to redouble its development initiatives and focus on projects that will complement my Government’s efforts to lift many of our people from poverty to prosperity.
“Faith without work is dead,” said the President.
He said beyond the church and Government, at individual level, all Zimbabweans have a duty to pursue initiatives that will modernise, industrialise and grow the country’s economy.
President Mnangagwa said there is a need to scale up efforts to mould a morally upright, God-fearing and hardworking generation.
“We must never surrender our children and young people to the whims and caprices of this world. Our young people are the solid foundation and future upon which we must build our great country,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said parents must love, guide nurture and develop their children to be patriotic and hardworking national assets.
“We also pray for men and women in our governance and politics as well as in every sector of the economy who are upright and who talk in integrity and fear of the Lord,” said President Mnangagwa.
He highlighted some of the developmental projects undertaken by the Second Republic after it adopted the devolution policy.
President Mnangagwa said through its devolution policy Government has transformed the social development aspect across provinces.
He said through devolution funds provinces were able to build schools, clinics, roads, bridges and many other such key social amenities.
President Mnangagwa said that the prudent utilisation of devolution funds has enabled councils to implement various projects identified by their respective communities.
This has in-turn enhanced participatory governance in provinces, districts and wards. The country is using its own resources to fund implementation of several infrastructural projects such as roads, dams, schools, clinics, irrigation, water and sanitation infrastructure.
Through the Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme, Government has managed to alleviate starvation by boosting food security.
“These projects are evident for all to see, bringing unprecedented improvements in the quality of life of our people as we march towards Vision 2030.
We are, thus, thankful to God Almighty for his endless grace and for granting my Government the wisdom to pursue our policies and implement projects as well as the creation of innovation and knowledge-driven ecosystems for our young people to thrive,” he said.
“Through the numerous policies and projects being implemented by my Government, no-one and no place will be left behind as we journey towards Vision 2030.”
The President said the multi-pronged development agenda is being prioritised and accelerated, especially in marginalised rural areas and communities.
“The rural industrialisation programme is underway. Recently, we rolled out the new programme for modernising and empowering all of Zimbabwe’s 35 000 villages. This will see the drilling of boreholes to provide clean water in rural communities around which horticulture economic activities will be stimulated; communities empowered; young people employed and grassroots incomes improved,” he said.
The President said he also committed himself to consulting and working with traditional leaders throughout the country to address issues that have historically disadvantaged rural communities. He said the feedback from the chiefs has enriched policy formulation and project prioritisation.
“In urban areas, we are committed to continue improving social amenities by accelerating infrastructure development, facilitating industrialisation as well as creating innovation and knowledge-driven ecosystems for our young people to thrive,” he said.
President Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans to be true patriots and good stewards by assuming total responsibility for developing their country.
He extensively quoted from the scriptures as he spread a message of love, hard work and nation-building.“Our nation has continued to enjoy peace and tranquillity. We have been favoured by the Lord with abundant rains and through hard work, we realised an unprecedented harvest which contributed to an upturn in our economy,” he said.
“We are stewards of God’s immense wealth found within the boundaries of our country called Zimbabwe. Even as 1 Corinthians 4 verse 2 emphasises that ‘it is required in stewards that one be found faithful’. Let us be diligent and committed to working for our nation.”
He said the mantra “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo” identifies each and every citizen as an owner and equally, a builder of Zimbabwe.
“Brick by brick and stone upon stone, let us therefore strengthen our resolve to build our beloved motherland towards the attainment of an upper middle-income economy by 2030,” he said.
On its part, President Mnangagwa said, Government is pursuing a new inclusive development model which is entrenching the Godly values of unity, love, harmony as well as patriotism among all Zimbabweans.
“Zimbabwe is our nation bestowed to us by God with all its land that which is on it and under it. It is the God of war who strengthened our arms for war and gave us victory during the protracted armed struggle for independence,” said President Mnangagwa.
“We now have an obligation and responsibility as outlined in Genesis 1 verse 28 to be fruitful and to multiply that which God has entrusted under our care.”
The President commended efforts by the church in Zimbabwe to reverse the damage done to the economy and the livelihoods of people through biased doctrines and religious systems of the colonial era.
“Gone are the days when we accepted a theology that taught us that our economic fortunes here on earth are of no consequence as happiness is reserved in Heaven. Now we know that the Word of God teaches us that Christ came so that we may have life and have it more abundantly (John 10 verse 10)”, he said.
“Furthermore, Ephesians 1 verse 3 assures us that God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. As a nation, we should never be apologetic about desiring prosperity in all its facets even as our soul prospers.”
The President said despite illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by western countries, the country has managed to handle Covid-19 in a manner that greatly reduced the number of fatalities.
“In our response to this pandemic and drawing from Daniel 2 verse 23, today let us also say, ‘I thank and praise you, God: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked for. God gave us wisdom, He blessed us with the requisite financial resources for vaccine procurement,” he said.
President Mnangagwa hailed China, India and Russian for helping the country by donating vaccines towards the Covid-19 national response.
He also paid tribute to Baba Apostle Dr Abel Sande and Father Emmanuel Ribeiro, both of whom passed away this year.
The annual event has since its inception in December 2017 hosted several inter-denominational congregants from across the country. It is held every last Sunday of the year.
This year’s theme is “Pursuing Nation Building Initiatives in the Spirit of Godly Patriotism, Ownership, Unity and Inclusiveness.”
The church service was organised by the Faith for the Nation Campaign — an inter-denominational grouping of local churches.
It is a platform where believers meet the country’s leadership to intercede for the nation.
The leader of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi commended the Second Republic for stabilising the economy.
He also noted that the economic reforms are beginning to bear fruit. Bishop Mutendi urged Zimbabweans to remain focused and hopeful in the wake of illegal sanctions imposed by western countries.
Apostle Andrew Wutawunashe, the founder of the Family of God Church (FOG) and chairman of Faith for the Nation Campaign, urged churches to rally behind President Mnangagwa in his call for peace, unity and love. — @mashnets.
Article Source: The Chronicle