Friday 23 October 2020


Scores of people who talked to The Mirror in interviews have accused the Roman Catholic Church of being insensitive to masses suffering from Mnangagwa’s ‘misrule’ by inviting him as one of the important guests at the installation of the new bishop of Gweru Diocese at Mkoba Stadium tomorrow.

One woman said Mnangagwa cannot be at such an event because “he epitomises that which the church fights”.

Word is abuzz that Mnangagwa will be an important guest at the installation of Bishop Rudolph Nyandoro although both Gweru Diocese Vicar General Father Augustine Shirikadzi and the Minister of State for Midlands Larry Mavhima could neither confirm nor deny the news.

People who talked to The Mirror also questioned the wisdom of gathering thousands of worshippers at Mkoba Stadium at a time when the world is battling to overcome the Covid19 pandemic.

Initially the event was supposed to take place at the Gweru Cathedral where a maximum of 200 people was supposed to attend.

Catholics reacted with outright anger and said Mnangagwa was unfit to be at the event because of his tainted human rights record.

A Catholic woman accused Mnangagwa of trying to use the event to hoodwink the public into thinking that he is a changed man.

“How can the church invite a man who shot dead 12 people exercising their democratic right to demonstrate against the 2018 election results to such an occasion? Has the church been fooled so much that it has forgotten who this man really is?” queried one Catholic.

A woman from Masvingo told The Mirror that she has cancelled her trip to the installation because of the presence of Mnangagwa.

“I cannot be associated with Mnangagwa at such an event. We are all sinners but this man is totally unfit to be at such an occasion. He epitomizes what the Church fights. This is a betrayal of people who are suffering because of his misrule. His Ministers are looting the country’s resource and ordinary people bear the brunt. What does the church want from such a man? Is the church not being used to clean the bad name of such a man?” said the woman who works for an NGO.

Another man said Mnangagwa needed to clear his name on the Matabeleland massacres before any church can accept him at such an event.

“People say a lot of unpleasant stories about Mnangagwa and I don’t think he is the right man to be at the installation of a bishop. Mnangagwa is the exact opposite of what churches are supposed to achieve. This invitation compromises this good Church,” said the man who is a non-Catholic.

Recently Catholic bishops released a statement making a blistering attack on Mnangagwa’s misrule. They accused his Government of corruption and rampant human rights abuses.

“People are being abducted and the Government is not acting on these serious human rights violations. The Church must not abandon the weak in order to sap with the devil,” said another man.

Dr Joshua Chakawa however, said Mnangagwa’s presence at the event is a welcome development. He said such events were bound to open avenues of dialogue between Government and the Church.

“This has been received well and people are happy because this is becoming a tradition that our leaders grace such occasions.

“The development comes after fissures between the Church and Government,” said Chakawa

Eng Killen Ukama, a prominent Gweru businessman described the development as positive.

“This is positive and it shows maturity when people can get into disputes and then find each other again thereafter,” said Ukama. Masvingo Mirror


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