By Wisdom Mumera
As the country nears the 2018 elections political leaders have repeatedly been turning to religion for direction in moves that have drawn the attention of the public.
The Presidium, comprising President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Vice Kembo Mohadi and Constantino Chiwenga have all been reported to have had contact with religious leaders of late.
In a first, Mnangagwa was reported to have attended a church service at the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe in Mabelreign, Harare last week where he urged congregants to be faithful to God.
The former VP alleged that he had been born a Methodist.
He revealed it was through God’s grace that he had managed to be part of the Christian congregation.
ED as Mnangagwa is affectionately known in political circles reportedly revealed the First Lady has been instrumental in encouraging him to continue coming to church.
According to media reports, Superintendent Likhai Molife of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe went on to preach about patience, forgiveness and the need to overcome temptations.
ED’s critics were however not amused, derisively attacking the move as a sensational nothing.
Prominent political analyst Brian Kagoro writing on Twitter was sarcastic about the whole charade.
“Vamwe kuMasowe, vamwe kwaBushiri & vamwe kuMethodist. We need a whole thesis on pre-election Zimbabwean Presidium and its Faith projections,” he said.
“No-one is born in church but some maternity clinic or home, instead of in church people are BORN AGAIN after they receive Lord Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Saviour,” said Luckmore Musoni.
Another social media commentator accused ED of false penance.
“Murderer trying to sanitize his image. Kutanga rini uchienda ku church” queried Musorobhangu.
VP Constantine Chiwenga, a known imbiber, was also recently reported to have visited a religious shrine, using a military helicopter in a move that drew the scorn of many advocating for austerity in government business.
Reports state that Chiwenga flew to Johane Marange High Priest Noah Taguta’s shrine in Manicaland also to seek divine assistance.
One critic slammed the flamboyant move comparing it to past cases of former President Robert Mugabe’s frivolous over expenditure of state resources.
“Let me be quick to point out what is wrong in this debacle – IT IS THE ABUSE OF STATE RESOURCES ( A MILITARY HELICOPTER) AND ABUSE OF POWER, ABUSE OF ZIMBABWEANS ‘ S GOODWILL”
“Anyone who wants to go to church and worship is free to do so at their own expense, why should it be at the expense of a bleeding economy? Why must taxpayers fork out for Chiwenga to go to Masowe?
“Fellow Zimbabweans vhurai meso and see people who urinate on us telling us it’s raining? The fake news on new jobs and cutting of expenditure remains a hoodwinking strategy ava vanhu vakangodaro !!!!
“They are criminals – yes they fought for our liberation from the white rule but that doesn’t give them a passport to abuse our resources in a Mugabeish Manner !!!.
“We need a total overhaul”
“Mugabeism is still with us it must go. We Zimbabweans deserve a better Zimbabwe and it won’t come when Chiwenga is using a Military plane to go to church – how absurd? queried a freelance journalist only referred to as Nungu at Large.
“Opposition ine basa to gain ground to win the next election. But the Chiwenga’s and company need to be smarter if they entertain any hopes of keeping the opposition at bay,” said Thabani Dube another local journalist.
The other VP, Kembo Mohadi, has received the most sensational attention after his elevation to VP led to recalls of his earlier visit to prominent Malawian Prophet Shepherd Bushiri.
During the visit, Bushiri allegedly prophesied that Mohadi was set to be crowned and his enemies defeated.
In a video clip circulating on social media, Mohadi is seen accepting the prophecy by repeatedly intoning, I receive’, a mantra prominent in Pentecostal churches when one is being prophesied about.
However many have been dismissive of the sudden religiosity of the politicians seeing them as resource wastage or PR campaigns to win votes in 2018