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Crisis of leadership in Zimbabwean churches

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By Nixon Mao Nyikadzino

I FELT sick to the pits of my stomach watching on TV as respected church leaders giggled and held their ribs while President Robert Mugabe hurled insults at Archbishop Pius Ncube.

Such acts of immaturity and sycophancy is a true reflection of how our church has been paralysed. It leaves us with a big question to answer. Is the church in Zimbabwe in crisis or the leadership is in such a crisis?

I have been following the work of the church in Zimbabwe particularly during the liberation struggle. Its role was to defend the weak and save them from oppression and suppression.

No wonder then people like Robert Mugabe got their education from mission schools. It was because the missionaries were there to save the poor and develop them. Their main aim was to equip the meek so they could face the wicked. The church leaders of that era were there to lead the flock and shepherd it to the land of honey and milk.

But what does it mean for the church when you see a secretary general of a massive organisation such as the Zimbabwe Council of Churches praying for Mugabe and saying they support his efforts and his style of leadership? Is it not spitting in the face of the congregation? Is it not the same as what Judas did to Jesus?

What does it mean when you find a man of the cloth like Pastor Msindo allegedly raping his domestic worker? These questions do not need an answer. They answer themselves as they point to the transgressions that are being committed by the church leaders in broad daylight. They are no longer altruistic. They are not prepared to die for the flock. They are actually prepared to mislead the flock and dump it in the dungeons of fire and suffering. They are not good leaders. These leaders are neglecting the flock.

This is the caliber of leadership we find in the churches every Sunday when we go for worshipping. But that does not necessarily mean that all church leaders are like that. We have the likes of Pius Ncube, Bishop Manhanga, Bishop Kadenge, Pastor Motsi and others whom I cannot mention due to limited space. These church leaders through initiatives like the Zimbabwe National Pastors Conference (ZNPC), Churches in Manicaland etc are making a difference showing their flock the right direction and denouncing evil. They fear no man but God. Any man who wants to put himself above God is not good for the world. Such a man, like Lucifer, should be thrown drown so the lions can feast on him and create peace for God's children.

As Zimbabweans, our duty is to follow leaders who are straight. We must refuse to be used by leaders who use the congregation for self aggrandizement. People like Bishop Kunonga must be uprooted from their sinning pulpits.

Peter was told by Jesus that "on this rock I shall build my church" and that church cannot be built on loose rocks such as Nemapare, Kunonga etc.

Nixon Mao Nyikadzino is a Zimbabwean journalist and can be contacted at: maothecde@yahoo.co.uk
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