The strong bond between Government and the Church to ensure sustainable development that leaves no one and no place behind remains solid, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
The President said this while addressing thousands of congregants who were gathered at the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa 56th Pilgrimage, celebrating the life and Ministry of Bernard Mizeki at the Bernard Mizeki Shrine in Marondera.
He said the church must never shy away from its obligation to help lift people out of poverty and into prosperity, through sustainable production and productivity ventures.
“Under the Second Republic, the State and the Church are inseparable. Together as we build our country, brick by brick and stone upon stone, we are guided by our development philosophy, “Nyika inovakwa, igotongwa, igonamatirwa, nevene vayo/ Ilizwe lakhiwa, libuswa, likhulekelwa, ngabanikazi balo”.
“Leveraging on the Anglican network of churches, across Zimbabwe and the region, I call upon you to boldly take your place towards accelerating the socio-economic development of our people,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said both institutions – government and the church – bear the primary responsibility for the development, modernisation, industrialisation and prosperity of the nation.
“This is the message that must be preached across our churches as we strive to improve the quality of life of our people. Genesis 3 verse 19 says, “By your sweat you will eat your food until you return to the ground”. Neziya rechiso chako uchadya zvokudya zvako, kusvikira wadzokera kuguruva”.
“Production, productivity and hard honest work in all sectors, must be unapologetically preached throughout our churches,” he said.
He said the country takes pride in Anglican schools which have churned out brilliant brains and academic giants serving both in public and private sector institutions.
“Our National Hero and the late Chairman of ZANU, Cde Hebert Wiltshire Pfumaindini Chitepo was a product of St Augustine’s Mission, Tsambe. Schools such as St David’s Bonda, Bernard Mizeki College; Peterhouse Schools, St Patricks Chiwundura; Cyrene Mission; St James Nyamandlovu; Daramombe; St Colombus; St Mary’s Chitungwiza, St John’s Chikwakwa among others, have raised trailblazers and leaders in our nation across all sectors of the economy.
“Meanwhile, I challenge the Anglican Church to broaden the career paths and opportunities for our young people within its schools and institutions, riding on the ongoing science, technology and innovation drive being championed by my Administration,” he said.
He also challenged youths under the Anglican church to venture into agriculture, mining, tourism and the manufacturing among other sectors.
“You have the responsibility to build the Zimbabwe we all want”
President Mnangagwa applauded the humanitarian work of the Anglican Church through the partnerships within the Christian Care Organisation who supported the liberation struggle by taking care of political prisoner, detainees and their families during the war.
“Luminaries and clergymen associated with the Anglican Church such as Bishop Kenneth Skelton, Arthur Shearly Cripps and Guy Clutton-Brock among others, were instrumental in our fight against racism and colonialism.
“Additionally, the involvement of the Anglican Church in the programmes of the World Council of Churches towards dismantling the unjust racist colonial system had far reaching impacts. ZANU PF, as a Former Liberation Movement, remains eternally grateful for that support which contributed to the independence, freedom, peace, love and unity we are enjoying to this day,” he said.
He also commended St Patricks High School in the Diocese of Central Zimbabwe which is now off the ZESA grid following establishment of a 157 Kilowatt solar project.
He also urged the nation to help in the fight the menace of drug and substance abuse.
“The Bible says in Proverbs 22 verse 6 “Train up children in the way they should go and even when they are old they will not turn from it”.
“The Church is encouraged to design programmes and activities that attract young people and the youth to be more involved in healthy and productive activities. Pasi nemutoriro, pasi neGuka.”