Archbishop Guti ‘a deserving national hero’

Archbishop Ezekiel Handinawangu Guti

President Mnangagwa has declared national hero status on the late founder of the Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa Forward in Faith, Archbishop Ezekiel Handinawangu Guti, saying “his works are evident for all to see and everybody knows the great works he did”.

Apart from evangelism, Archbishop Guti spearheaded the provision of social services in the country, including sponsoring the setting up of the Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University in Bindura as well as Mbuya Dorcas Hospital in Harare.

Archbishop Guti died on July 5 in South Africa.

He celebrated his 100th birthday in May.

The church and family have announced 30 days of mourning.

President Mnangagwa visited the Guti family in Harare on Monday, where he declared national hero status on Baba Guti.

The President was accompanied by First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa, Vice President Chiwenga and his wife, Colonel Miniyothabo Chiwenga.

Said President Mnangagwa: “For some of the heroes and heroines on that site (National Heroes Acre), some people may not really know the profile of their works. We, who have put them there, know.

“But as for Baba Guti, his works are evident for all to see and everybody knows the great works he did. However, the church has the liberty to continue with their plans, but we, as the Government of Zimbabwe, have decided to declare Archbishop Ezekiel Guti a national hero and hereby confer that status.”

ZAOGA FIF’s Ezekiel TV channel also posted on its Facebook page the conferment of national hero status on the “General in the Faith”, as Baba Guti was commonly known in religious circles.

“On Monday July 24, 2023, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde ED Mnangagwa conferred the national hero status upon our late father, Apostle Ezekiel Handinawangu Guti.

“In his speech to the family and church leadership, the President pronounced that the Government of Zimbabwe decided to give this honour to Apostle Guti, in recognition of the great work and impact he has done in the nation and the world over,” reads part of the post.

Last night, the Zanu PF leadership led by acting Secretary General Cde Patrick Chinamasa, National Commissar Cde Mike Bimha, Secretary for Security Cde Lovemore Matuke and Politburo member Cde Omega Hungwe, and Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister, Kazembe Kazembe, visited the Guti family to deliver the news of national hero status conferred on Baba Guti.

Cde Chinamasa, who was representing Zanu PF Secretary General Dr Obert Mpofu, said they had been sent by President Mnangagwa and Zanu PF.

“We have been sent by the President to inform the Guti family and church that the party and President saw fit to accord national hero status to Baba Guti.

“A national hero status is accorded depending on the impact one would have done, working for his or her country.

“What has led us to come here is because of his good deeds. He did a lot of work, which everyone can testify even if one would not be a member of ZAOGA. He preached evangelism in Zimbabwe and beyond,” said Cde Chinamasa.

Minister Kazembe then read out the hero conferment letter from Dr Mpofu, directed to the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda.

“His Excellency, the First Secretary of Zanu PF Cde Dr ED Mnangagwa has conferred national hero status to the late Archbishop Professor Ezekiel Handinawangu Guti who died on July 5, 2023,” he said.

ZAOGA FIF national executive chairperson, Apostle Joe Guti said on behalf of the family and church, they were grateful for the recognition that Baba Guti got from President Mnangagwa.

“He worked for 75 years preaching non-stop, demonstrating what Christianity is. God permitted him to live for 100 years of which we say the global church has benefited from that long life.

“He had a global impact on the whole world which is worth celebrating. We are here to appreciate this recognition; thank you for honouring our father, our global icon in the world of faith, not only evangelism but in the academic world, health sector, all sectors of the economy, nation building he contributed, and is worth celebrating,” said

Apostle Joe Guti.

ZAOGA FIF secretary general, Apostle Mishael Nyambo, said the church was grateful for the honour bestowed upon Baba Guti.

“We are more than glad with the national hero status conferment, thanking that works that were done by our father were open for all to see in Zimbabwe.

“The Government was witness to the works because he did not only start a church in Zimbabwe, but other things which benefit the citizens despite not being family members.

“We are grateful that it was recognised and His Excellency, the Government and part, saw it fit to give our church leader a national hero status. We are also glad that the status came in time before his burial,” said Apostle Nyambo.

Amai Eunor Guti said her late husband was a God-fearing man, who left a lot of teachings from which she draws strength.

“His teachings differentiated us from other nations since he taught us to be God fearing, to fight poverty through working with our own hands so that we are empowered.

“He would change countries he visited, including Jamaica, where people used to rely on missionaries. In our church, congregants were empowered and worked with their own hands and managed to buy land which they are collectively building a church,” said Amai Guti.

Apostle Nyambo said burial arrangements will be communicated in due course.

“The church and family are still doing consultations on burial arrangements, but we will advise,” he said.

ZAOGA FIF members yesterday thanked the President for honouring Baba Guti.

Violla Shandukurai said: “He truly deserves this status. He built a university, hospitals, children’s homes, schools, was a unifier who brought souls to Christ, built many churches and never brought sorrow to the Government.

“Yes, he deserves it. This has really consoled the Guti family, Forward in Faith church and all sons and daughters of Baba in Zimbabwe and around the world.”

Mrs Loveness Chiyangwa said: “We are very grateful and honoured as a church that our father has been given this status. May all praises be given to the God of Ezekiel.”

A ZAOGA FIF elder based in the United Kingdom, Pedzisai Zisengwe, said: “He was indeed a man of God whom many people benefited from. Personally I was healed of cancer during his last visit to the UK.

“I went to the doctors and they confirmed that I had been healed.”

Herald

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