Zanu PF, Pastors for ED accused of hijacking theology graduation

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By Darlington Gatsi

SCORES of people that attended a conference organised by Pastors for Economic Development (ED) Wednesday left the City Sports Center disgruntled accusing Zimbabwe Union of Council of Churches (ZUCOC) of ingenuity.

Church members that fall under the ambit ZUCOC thronged the City Sports Center for an event that was attended by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

He was also accompanied by the top brass of Zanu PF – Vice-president Constantino Chiwenga, defence minister Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri and Zanu PF political commissar Mike Bimha.

People left the City Sports Center fuming after coming under the pretext that they were attending a theology graduation ceremony of Pastors, can reveal.

“I came here at 8 as it was the time i had been told the graduation ceremony would begin. I took time from work only to find out that the event would take this long and we were never told this was a Zanu PF rally. At least they should been upfront with us that this was a Pastors for ED event,” said one woman who spoke to on condition of anonymity.

Men of cloth sang, danced and chanted Zanu PF slogans praising Mnangagwa at every turn.

The event also witnessed President Mnangagwa being conferred with an ordination certificate for his role in the liberation struggle.

Pastors for ED national Chairman Idirashe Dongo pledged to drum up support from churches under the auspices of ZUCOC ahead of upcoming general elections.

“We supplicate on behalf of the leader. In the ten provinces in Harare we have been inculcating the idea that we are supposed to pray for our leader (Mnangagwa). If I am looking at our church members as much as we are, we will vote for you in the elections,” said Dongo.

Pastors for ED is one of many parallel structures that emerged last wear coalescing themselves around Mnangagwa.

It has received widespread condemnation from political observers and other religious leaders like Celebration Church leader Tom Deuschle saying it is an abomination.

In his address Chiwenga castigated voices that denounced the grouping’s affiliation to Zanu PF.

“We therefore wonder whether the sentiments expressed are meant to build our nation and foster peace. The bible stresses that we should not judge and be boastful,” said Chiwenga.