Speak Against Rights Abuses, Church Told
13 January 2022

Tinashe Sambiri| Zimbabwe Divine Destiny director, Bishop Ancelimo Magaya, has challenged Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to stop violating citizens’ rights.

Bishop Magaya also challenged the church to speak out against tyranny and relentless oppression of citizens by Mr Mnangagwa’s regime.

Mnangagwa is deliberately sitting on findings of the Motlanthe Commission, according to Bishop Magaya.

Below is Bishop Magaya’s statement:

The church can do more to hold President Mnangagwa accountable.

President Ramaphosa’s pledge to not only implement the recommendations of the state capture report, but to step aside if he finds himself conflicted, is sweet to hear. Sadly, we have in Zimbabwe a Motlanthe led -commission recommendations that ED has not yet implemented.

When a head of state appoints a commission of inquiry whose report he launches and three years later, the recommendations in the report are still not implemented, then the accountability governance in the country is pathologically flawed. What is more disturbing is the failure by a nation (Zimbabwean citizenry) which is 80%christian according to Zim stats to demand accountability. It is tragic to speak it, yet true to say that the church in Zimbabwe has failed not only to live to the expectations of her followers, but also to the dictates of her prophetic mandate.

The church has not leveraged on her spiritual and moral clout to hold government accountable; neither has she leveraged on her large followership to demand accountability.

The ZCBC pastoral letter of August 12 2020 and the ensuing solidarity statements from several church-based organisations and civic organisations were a clearest indication of a likely mass mobilisation that would result from such a strong moral and spiritual stance by the church. Sadly, because of the backlash from government, the church was cowed down and found herself paralyzed.

The vitality of the church is not just to gather masses, cast out demons, healing the sick, tongue speaking and collecting offerings.

Whilst these are important, the vitality of the church is more in her ability to, inter alia, fight against all forms of social injustices, corruption and selective application of the law. Fully knowing this, Amos in his prophetic indictment to the Jewish nation says, ‘I hate your religious festivals, I cannot stand them. When you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them, I will not accept the animals you have fattened to bring me as offerings. Stop your noisy songs, I do not want to listen to your harps .

Instead, let justice flow like a stream and righteousness like a river that never goes dry, (Chapter 5vs21-24).

Weighing in on this heart piercing prophecy, a leading 20th century American human rights activist and church leader, Martin Luther King Junior had this to say, “Any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of man and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial.”

I would like to charge the church to rise beyond the comfort zones this year and beyond, saying “no” to the dictates of this wicked system, and saying “yes” to the Holy Spirit.

My deep sensing is that no sooner would the church rise to embrace her prophetic voice than we would begin to realize the so much needed transitioning of this nation to a new era of economic prosperity, political stability, justice and peace. Put differently, the church is the sole reason why there has been so much delay in the much-needed transformation. There is therefore need for the church to rise in an unusual faith action.

God save Zimbabwe