Sunday, 17 July 2022


PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has rallied the nation to cherish peace and unite in order to develop the country by taking a leaf from the unity shown by the Johanne Marange Apostolic Church.

Addressing more than 100 000 pilgrims drawn across Africa for their annual Passover at Mafararikwa Shrine in Marange yesterday, the President said Government would “never allow detractors to fan and promote violence”.

“The unity of purpose you have displayed here should continue. We want peace and unity to prevail in the country. We should take a leaf from the church and ensure that we work together and develop our country. We will never allow detractors to fan and promote violence,” he said.

His sentiments follow recent violence in Nyatsime, Chitungwiza, where members of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) went on a rampage and destroyed households and business premises.

This year’s Passover gathering was special to Johanne Marange Church members as it was presided over by the youthful new leader, High Priest Nimrod Taguta. He took over the reins in May following the death of his father, High Priest Noah Taguta.

President Mnangagwa visited the Taguta family in May to pay his condolences and promised to return for the church’s annual Passover gathering, a promise he fulfilled yesterday.

“I was shocked and saddened by the death of my close friend, St Noah Taguta. When I received news of his death, I could not believe it as we had met the previous month. He was in the company of his son, the new High Priest. Little did I know that he was introducing me to the new leader of this church. Despite his youthfulness, High Priest Nimrod has shown great leadership qualities as evidenced by successfully organising this year’s annual Passover gathering, which is oversubscribed. I have never addressed such a big crowd and I am at a loss for words.”

He pledged to continue assisting the church to construct more schools.

“The late High Priest Noah Taguta was on a crusade of constructing schools and the new leader has also promised to continue with his legacy. As Government, we will continue supporting the church in this endeavour. We will also avail computers to the schools.”

Under the stewardship of the late High Priest Noah Taguta, the church built St Noah Group of Schools comprising St Noah One and Two, St Abel, St Zachariah, St Makaab as well as St Arnold One and Two. The church has several farms in Chipinge and Nyazura.

It also electrified Taguta Village and constructed a modern football pitch in rural Mafararikwa, changing the face of the area.

Church members yesterday braved the chilly weather to attend the gathering. From as early as 9am, they started trickling at the shrine and waited patiently for the main event to start at 2pm.

The pilgrims then quietly followed proceedings. The singing was well-coordinated even without microphones or a public address system. Preachers, who took turns to deliver sermons, pledged allegiance to High Priest Nimrod and said they will not tolerate discord in the church.

President Mnangagwa was accompanied by Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution Nokuthula Matsikenyere, Transport and Infrastructural Development Deputy Minister Mike Madiro, Youth, Sport and Arts Deputy Minister Tino Machakaire and Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr Johannes Tomana. Sunday Mail



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