President pays tribute to the Church

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has paid tribute to the Church for being at the forefront in terms of fostering a spirit of peace, love, harmony and unity, which is critical in the country’s socio-economic development.

He was addressing thousands of congregants drawn from various church denominations during the 7th edition of the annual National Thanksgiving and Dedication Service at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Grounds in Bulawayo yesterday.

Quoting extensively from scriptures as he spread a message of love and nation-building, President Mnangagwa said the annual service provides a perfect platform to gather in unity as a nation.

“We gather before the Lord today to thank Him as a nation for the rains, peace, blessings, and progress which in His own will and sovereignty are granted to our beloved motherland, Zimbabwe. We thus humbly go before the throne of the Almighty God to seek His help and blessings for 2024 which is dawning on us,” he said.

“All of us as Zimbabweans from Zambezi to Limpopo, from Mutare to Plumtree, we are one people. The Almighty God has gifted us with stewardship over this beautiful country, full of promise and potential. I applaud the Church for bringing us together in the spirit of peace, love, harmony, and unity.”

President Mnangagwa said the dedication service is a strategic powerful platform to gather in unity as a nation.

Reflecting on this year’s theme: “A time to unite and to continue with God’s help, determination, and hard work to build and develop our nation”, President Mnangagwa said it was more befitting for the occasion.

“The year 2023 has borne clear witness to the fact that with unity of purpose, we are succeeding in achieving our national Vision 2030. I therefore, urge us all to embrace the Lord’s exhortation in Haggai 2 verse 4, which says ‘Be strong, Zerubbabel, says the Lord and be strong Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest and be strong all you the people of the land, says the Lord and work, for I am with you, said the Lord of hosts,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said only Zimbabweans are responsible for building their own country.

“As the Lord has granted us with stewardship over our land and resources, we remain responsible for building and developing Zimbabwe, while providing a better livelihood for our people. Nyika inovakwa, inotongwa, inomatigwa nevene vayo, ilizwe lakhiwa, libuswe, likhulekelwe ngabanikazi balo,” he said drawing wild cheers from the congregants.

“Let us remain committed to building Zimbabwe, step by step, brick by brick and stone upon stone. I am, thus, enthused by the extent to which you my fellow citizens have embraced this culture of hard work.”

The President said the country’s economic growth was hinged on collaboration between the Government and churches among other players.

“I am heartened and gratified by the fact that the churches are supporting the various programmes and projects being implemented across sectors, while at the same time amplifying their voices on the removal of the illegal sanctions,” he said.

“I therefore urge every Zimbabwean regardless of socio-economic status, age, background or any other persuasion to rally behind this call, to join hands to develop, modernise and industrialise our country.”

President Mnangagwa said the festive season should be a time to heal, not to divide, a time to gather not to scatter, a time to unite not to divide, and above all, a time to continue to build and not to pull down.

He urged churches to continue playing a key role in protecting society’s moral fibre through preaching the Gospel.

“As you continue to work hard for spiritual and moral development for our people, I urge you the church to embrace a holistic approach to ministry, preserving and promoting the unity of family structure, partiality of the sanctity of the marriage institution as well as inculcating our moral and societal values,” said President Mnangagwa.

He wished the country a prosperous and productive 2024.

President Mnangagwa said the church has stood with the nation at all times, interceding on behalf of the country in good and bad moments.

Recently, President Mnangagwa met various church leaders at State House in Harare and requested prayers for the rains.

The Meteorological Services Department (MSD) has predicted erratic and low rainfall patterns this year because of El Nino conditions which are expected to affect southern Africa.

Zimbabwe expects to receive normal to below-normal rainfall with parts of the Midlands and Matabeleland provinces getting below-normal rains for the beginning of the 2023/24 planting season.

The 2023/2024 agricultural season is expected to have lower-than-normal rainfall. President Mnangagwa said despite being on his annual leave, he delightfully accepted the invitation to attend the service.

He said during the prayer session, rains poured down at the State House and in various parts of the country.

The President thanked the organisers of the church service, Faith for the Nation Campaign — an inter-denominational grouping of local churches, saying the event created an opportunity for the nation to come together for thanksgiving, renewed and lasting blessings.

It is a platform where believers meet the country’s leadership to intercede for the nation.

The first edition of the Zimbabwe National Thanksgiving and Dedication Service, was held in December 2017 after the birth of the Second Republic under the leadership of President Mnangagwa.


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