PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe appears to have been abandoned by his church backers who have left him at the mercy of increasingly vocal and independent church leaders who accuse the veteran leader of misrule and rights abuses.
However, long time Mugabe apologist and cleric Obadiah Msindo claims the church is still firmly behind the 92 year-old leader’s rule.
Zimbabwe is battling massive joblessness, corruption and lately, a crippling cash crisis that has seen depositors continuously fail to access their cash from local banks.
Church leaders who have shown growing impatience with the Zimbabwean strongman also accuse President Mugabe and his government of rights abuses and failure to fulfill pre-election promises, coupled with an attempt to short-circuit the current cash crisis through introduction of bond notes.
Currently, Baptist church pastor Evan Mawarire leads the siege against President Mugabe and his regime while Kariba based cleric Patrick Mugadza has also staged one-man protests to raise awareness around Mugabe’s excesses.
Anglican church bishop Sebastian Bakare, Patrick Mutume of the Catholic Church of Mutare and Roman Catholic Church’s Pius Ncube are among some prominent church figures known for condemning Mugabe.
Former African Sun Limited CEO and Faith Ministries pastor Shingi Munyeza has been a surprise inclusion among church leaders who have turned the heat against the embattled leader who has been equated to Jesus by some of his apologists.
Similarly, outspoken preacher, Bishop Ancelimo Magaya has been a consistent critic of the Zimbabwean leader and lately, a group of churches held a march against government’s introduction of the schools national pledge.
As Mugabe comes under a barrage of attack from men of the cloth, his traditional defenders are nowhere to be found.
These include Destiny of Africa Network founder Reverend Msindo, Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa founder Ezekiel Guti, controversial Anglican Church cleric Nolbert Kunonga.
Other church leaders who have previously come to Mugabe’s defence include Family of God (FOG) founder Andrew Wutawunashe and flamboyant prophet Uebert Angel.
Reached for comment, Msindo laughed off claims they had left Mugabe to church critics, insisting the Zimbabwean leader was not under any siege.
Msindo said they were preparing to counter the current onslaught against Mugabe by fellow church leaders.
“There is nothing wrong with us; we are just watching the situation and we are going to respond accordingly,” he told NewZimbabwe.com.
“He is not under siege.
“Zvinosekesa (it is laughable). You can boldly quote me on this, Igemu revana (this is child’s play). You know people like Shingy (Munyeza); he does not command a huge following at all.
“Even if he could be having a following, some of these people have never voted for Zanu PF. So their numbers do not count in the whole scheme of things.”
Msindo said if at all Zanu PF was concerned about anybody, it would in fact be the MDC-T which commands a tangible political constituency capable of upstaging it during elections.
"These people are not organised, there are a lot of factors which are against them," he said.
“We are not even worried about this, there is nothing new about these people’s demands, it’s only that the demands are now being made through the church,” he said.