ZIMBABWE – President Robert Mugabe has instructed that Zimbabwe hold a period of national prayer as the severest drought looms and the country teeters on the brink of a socio-economic and political crisis.
A group of clerics from across denominations known as the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD) yesterday told journalists in Harare that churches will also begin a process of mobilising resources to avert famine.
ZHOCD spokesperson Shingi Munyeza said Zimbabweans needed to “turn from our wicked ways”.
“Following discussions with the Acting President Phelekezela Mphoko who said he had authority from the President, we have agreed to call the nation and all Christian denominations to prayer from the 9th of January to the 17th.
“It was a spiritual request and as the prophetic voice of God we must respond responsibly. We as the body of Christ have chosen to respond to this request with responsibility as required of us rather than be irresponsible or reckless,” Munyeza said.
“This is a kairos moment that we, as a people, reflect on our ways and errors, recognise we have sinned against God, repent and seek the face of the Lord for the revival and restoration of our nation and land.”
Munyeza, who chose to be diplomatic, said Zimbabweans had collectively sinned against God, but would not be drawn into commenting on whether the “poisoned political environment” was to blame for “God’s anger”.
“The Church has sinned against God, and State actors have not acted in the manner God would have expected, so we need to walk away from sin.
“We must repent from our wicked ways and repent from our sins. In some way we have not been good stewards of what God has given us. Zimbabweans need to walk away from our sins,” the businessman-turned-clergyman said.
Zimbabwe has particularly in the last decade and a half experienced frequent droughts and food shortages.
Asked if Mphoko had revealed the extent of hunger Zimbabwe was facing and the number of people likely to require food aid, Munyeza said this was currently being figured out.
“We will work with provincial administrators to find out the extent of hunger. We did not want to have figures thrown at us so we will begin the process of finding out and ascertaining the help that is required,” he said.