George Maponga in Masvingo
ZIMBABWEANS should remain united and focus their energy on building a prosperous nation, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
The Head of State and Government said oneness and forgiveness were fundamental to rapid socio-economic transformation.
President Mnangagwa was addressing thousands of Zion Christian Church congregants at their Easter conference at Mbungo Estates, Bikita yesterday.
With him were Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga and senior Government and Zanu-PF officials.
He said, “For this country to develop and prosper, we need to put God first. The Bible says if you build without involving the Hand of God, you would have done nothing. Let us build a new Zimbabwe born out of the recently-ushered new dispensation.
“Let us preach love, peace and forgiveness for God to bless our nation. Let us build a new Zimbabwe, and I am sure if we are united, we can build a prosperous and peaceful nation.
“I think you have heard that there is a new dispensation in the country. It is a new beginning for Zimbabwe and my appeal to every Zimbabwean and church leaders, in particular, is that they preach unity and peace. If we are to develop and succeed as a nation, let us unite and live in harmony and that way we will be able to achieve all our goals and targets.”
President Mnangagwa implored Zimbabweans to include God in all endeavours.
“We are now in a new dispensation and we have a new Government, but it is all because of God’s plan for this country. Like Christ, after His resurrection, we also now have a new life, but it is all God’s planning. Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow, but God knows everyone’s future.
“It is God’s plan for me to be President. It was in God’s plan that I was going to eat poison and survive; become a border-jumper and survive. It is God’s plan to be where I am here today. We do not know about tomorrow. It is all God’s planning.”
The President said churches should encourage congregants to register to vote.
“Churches should be at the forefront of promoting peace and unity. I will continue spreading the gospel of non-violence, emphasising that there is no benefit to us if we always fight and engage in conflicts.”
Zimbabwe’s food security, he said, had turned the corner — thanks to Command Agriculture.
“We introduced Command Agriculture and at the same time God also blessed us with abundant rains, helping us to produce enough food for our nation. Now the challenge is lack of storage facilities for the food,” President Mnangagwa said.
He paid tribute to ZCC for building schools, clinics and other social infrastructure. ZCC leader Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi said Zimbabweans should thank God for the peaceful manner in which Operation Restore Legacy was executed.
“It is clear from what happened during Operation Restore Legacy leading up to the new dispensation that God’s hand was at work. The whole process had God’s blessings and it was His plan.
“That is why it happened in the way it did, and that process will always remain a very important one in the history of our country. As we are celebrating Easter, we should also be celebrating the new dispensation in our country and our God-given national leaders.
“We will pray with any leader who is President, irrespective of political affiliation. Let us pray for President Mnangagwa because he is in the driving seat of our country. We cannot pray for the bus (country) and leave out the driver (President Mnangagwa). We have to pray for both the bus and the driver,” he said.
Bishop Mutendi urged political leaders to work with the church, and described President Mnangagwa as God-fearing and humble.