George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has urged churches to lead in praying for peace before, during and after next year’s harmonised elections.
The country goes for polls next year to choose the President, National Assembly representatives and councillors.
VP Mnangagwa said it was vital for the country to vote in a peaceful environment.
He was speaking at Masvingo Provincial Hospital where he officially opened and handed over a private ward refurbished by the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church at a cost of $40 000.
The private ward used to be an old nurses’ home before the facelift, which included repainting, a new roof and floor tiles.
It also received new curtains, bed linen and appliances.
VP Mnangagwa said churches were a key partner in engendering national development.
“As we prepare for the elections in 2018, I appeal to the entire church and Zimbabweans at large to pray and live in peace, love and harmony,’’ he said.
He said Zimbabwe’s future lay in the hands of God.
“In addition, the Constitution extols the centrality of unity, peace, hard work and tolerance as critical building blocks for development,” said VP Mnangagwa.
“Our God is a God of order who thrives where there is order. It is in this spirit that I challenge all churches and religious denominations to preach peace, tolerance and productivity of our great nation.’’
VP Mnangagwa assured Zimbabweans that Government would continue extending agricultural support to farmers through Command Agriculture.
“I want our people to shun laziness and continue to work while we extend agricultural support to them under the Command Agriculture Scheme so that our country can have enough food from now onwards,’’ said VP Mnangagwa.
He said churches had a key role to play in the development of the nation, as they were responsible for nurturing morally-upright citizens.
VP Mnangagwa applauded the SDA church for playing a critical role in the development of Zimbabwe by extending a helping hand in various sectors like health and education.
He singled out the church’s move to start a local non-governmental organisation known as Adventist Development and Relief Agency, that has changed lives of many rural communities around Zimbabwe.
VP Mnangagwa said under ADRA, the SDA church had so far constructed five dams around the country and rolled out drought relief programmes in areas like Binga, Gokwe and Masvingo.
ADRA constructed shelters for waiting mothers and bought ambulances.
“The role by ADRA ties in well with Government’s Food and Nutrition Cluster (under Zim-Asset),” said VP Mnangagwa.
“I would like to thank the church leadership and communities across the width and breadth of Zimbabwe for praying for rains which as the Lord Almighty willed, led to a bumper harvest.’’
SDA Church Zimbabwe leader Dr Micah Choga pledged to drill a second borehole at Masvingo Provincial Hospital next week.
He chronicled various developmental projects being carried out by his church to uplift communities, including refurbishing a ward at Harare General Hospital and introducing a private ward at Gwanda Provincial Hospital.
Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister Senator Shuvai Mahofa hailed the SDA church for initiating projects that uplift the lives of people.