The Sunday News
Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Bureau
TRADITIONAL churches that include the Roman Catholic have contributed immensely towards improving education and increasing access to health services as well as skills development in the country, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
Addressing mourners at the burial of Gweru Diocese Bishop, Right Reverend Xavier Munyongani at Driefontein Mission in Chirumanzi on Friday, VP Mnangagwa said most Zimbabweans during colonialism attended mission schools.
He said most leaders in Government were among those who benefited from mission schools and hospitals.
President Mugabe went to Kutama Mission run by the Roman Catholic Church.
“I further commend churches, in general, and the Roman Catholic Church, in particular for fostering education, health and skills development in the country.
As churches, you remained alive to the need of the total person academically, spiritually, physically and skills development. It is an uncontested fact that the majority of us in Government attended mission schools,” he said.
VP Mnangagwa said the Government enjoyed cordial relationships with churches such as the Roman Catholic.
He said the church has significantly contributed towards the upholding of the constitution and played a crucial role in fostering peace and reconciliation.
“Government enjoys a cordial relationship with the church. The values and beliefs that the church stands for are the same values that the State upholds in the preamble to our constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) Act, of 2013 and indeed throughout the whole constitution.
The church has always advocated and played a crucial role in fostering peace and reconciliation,” he said.
Rt Rev Munyongani died on Sunday at Avenues Clinic in Harare after a short illness.
He was 67.
Rt Rev Munyongani was ordained priest for the Diocese of Gweru on 20 August 1977. He obtained a Diploma in Religious Studies from the University of Zimbabwe in 1978.
In 1986 Rt Rev Munyongani was sent to Rome for further studies where he obtained a Licentiate in Sacred Liturgy from St Anselm.
He was appointed Lecturer and Formator at Chishawasha Major Seminary where he later became Vice Rector.
Rt Rev Munyongani was appointed Bishop for Gweru Diocese in 2013, a position he held until his death.