Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa (Zaoga Forward in Faith) founder Archbishop Ezekiel Handinawangu Guti was a humble man of deep scriptural convictions who lived his faith, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.
The President said this in his condolence message following the passing on of probably Zimbabwe’s most revered man of the cloth.
He died on Wednesday at 100.
President Mnangagwa said the death of Prof Guti left him “deeply shattered and saddened”.
“Nearly two months ago, on May 14, I joined countless congregants of the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa (ZAOGA) Forward in Faith and many eminent Zimbabweans in celebrating 100 years of his devout life so eventfully,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Beyond celebrating the gift of life, we, in unison, basked in the joy and belief that our nation stood uniquely blessed and favoured by the Almighty to have in its midst such a great figure who personified longevity, tenacious faith, compassion and a givenness to serving mankind, especially in the broad areas of human development, as never witnessed before.
“Sadly, that joy has now turned short-lived, leaving our nation all the poorer and plunged in profound grief.”
President Mnangagwa added that Prof Guti’s works and footprints indelibly abound across the length and breadth of the country, well beyond the vast, national movement of congregants and places of worship that he led.
Prof Guti was a strong proponent of education for his African brethren, said the President, and leaves behind countless educational institutions that “he painstakingly built and incrementally scaffolded, leading to the iconic Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University”.
“Never has so much been developed and achieved from so little and slender means, only compensated so by so big a heart, so abundant faith and sheer determination.
“Today, the Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University ranks high among private institutions which dispense higher education to our nation, and certainly stands apart as the only one founded and developed from efforts of indigenous Pentecostal evangelism.
“In the health sector, the Mbuya Dorcas Hospital which Dr Guti and Amai, Apostle Eunor Guti founded, stands prominent in national health delivery, forever bearing testimony to how a couple deep in faith saves many lives, thus becoming a wonderful blessing to a people and a whole nation,” said the President.
He added that as hearts grieve over Dr Guti’s sad demise, the people still celebrate a “life well lived and the numerous wondrous gifts of social development he bequeathed to our nation”.
“On behalf of our nation which he served with all his heart and soul, that of Government, my family and on my own behalf, I wish to express my deepest, heartfelt condolences to the Zimbabwean Church fraternity, and the Guti family, especially to Apostle Eunor Guti and the children, on this their saddest loss.
“May they derive solace and comfort from the knowledge that our nation which is immeasurably indebted to the late departed, stands with them during this hour of deep grief and bereavement, and will forever be inspired by Dr Guti’s deep faith and indelible works whose wholesome impact on numerous lives is already recorded, and will remain assured across generations to come.
“We beseech God the Almighty to grant this great man eternal rest in life beyond,” said President Mnangagwa.
Prof Guti was born on May 5, 1923 in Chipinge.
He celebrated his 100th birthday in May, at a colourful ceremony attended by many high profile people.