Church, State inseparable: President

THE State and the Church are inseparable and the Second Republic will always guarantee freedom of
worship, facilitate works of the church to nurture morally upright and loyal citizens, President Mnangagwa
has said.
Yesterday the President joined thousands of congregants drawn from across the globe for the centenary
celebrations of ZAOGA Forward in Faith Ministries founder, Archbishop Ezekiel Guti, his churchʼs 63rd
anniversary and an unbreakable 75 years of preaching the gospel.
The celebrations were anchored on the churchʼs theme of the year: ʻStriving to be true disciples who are
deeply rooted and grounded in the doctrine of the churchʼ.
President Mnangagwa was in his preaching element as he quoted Biblical verses to illustrate the
connection between the Church and the State, especially in uplifting Zimbabweans to prosperity in sync
with the collective national Vision of an upper-middle-class economic status by 2030.
He said in the context of Zimbabwe, home-grown churches like ZAOGA have been part and parcel of the
nationʼs history, before and after independence.
“The partnership and synergy between the State and Church is inseparable and dates back to the days of
our protracted armed liberation struggle. At cottage 953 in Harare, Highfield, ZAOGA was nurtured to
ultimately occupy the space that was predominantly a preserve of missionaries from beyond our borders,”
said President Mnangagwa.
Furthermore, the President said the Church must help Government efforts in tackling poverty, drug abuse
and other vices.
“I want to assure the Church fraternity that under the Second Republic, freedom of worship is
constitutionally guaranteed. My Government will further facilitate an enabling environment for the Church
to carry out the great commission and to win souls, heal the sick and proclaim the good news of our Lord
Jesus Christ. Equally, orphans, widows, the disabled and elderly must be taken care of.
President Mnangagwa addresses thousands of
congregants who thronged the Glamis Arena for the
ZAOGA Forward in Faith founder Archbishop Ezekiel
Gutiʼs centenary birthday celebrations in Harare
“Together, as the State and Church, let us also nurture a citizenry, especially the youth, who are patriotic,
disciplined, morally upright and loyal to our country Zimbabwe.
“It is commendable, that to date, the Church fraternity has remained a beacon of Ubuntu/Hunhu as well as
accelerating social development. Specifically, your ZAOGA churches, educational institutions and Bible
schools are churning out graduates who are ably serving in our national institutions, across Government
and in the private sector,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said Mbuya Dorcas Hospital, Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University, Ezekiel Television,
and the Dress Making Training Centres as well as primary and secondary schools that are owned by the
church, are impacting positively on the lives and livelihoods of communities.
“These and other life transforming projects you have undertaken as a church are praiseworthy.
Accordingly, in 2021 my Government saw it befitting to honour and confer to Archbishop Baba Guti, with
the Order of the Star of Zimbabwe”.
Quoting Matthew 7 verses 16-17, ʻyou will know them by their fruits… every good tree bears good fruitʼ,
the President said “the tree of ZAOGA is good and bearing good fruits. As you carry on with the work and
mission of the church, I urge ZAOGA, above all, to remain in the vine who is Jesus Christ, for apart from
Him we can do nothing”.
And ahead of this yearʼs elections, President Mnangagwa said the nation must be guided by 1 Peter 3
verses 8-10 which reads, “let us seek to be of one mind, loving one another, and refraining from evil and
deceit, pursuing peace at all times”.
“More-so ahead of our countryʼs Harmonised General Elections which will be held in August. The Church,
like other entities across our nation, must continue preaching the everlasting gospel of unity, peace, love
and harmony,” he said.
“The exercise and expression of our democratic right to vote must never be associated with violence,
conflict, disunity and chaos.
“I, therefore, call upon the Church, through platforms such as the ʻNational Day of Prayerʼ, to pray without
ceasing for our beloved motherland, Zimbabwe. For we know that Almighty God hears us when we make
our request, hence we know that he will give us what we have asked of him. Indeed he is forever faithful”.
In Zimbabwe, which is witnessing unprecedented growth across all sectors, the hand of God is manifest,
as the country enjoys peace and achieves milestones in agriculture, mining, manufacturing, infrastructure
development, tourism and education, among other sectors.
“The land that falls between the mighty Zambezi and Limpopo; Plumtree and Mutare; Beitbridge and
Chirundu, was given to us by the Almighty God, in his sovereign wisdom. It is not an accident that we are
Zimbabweans. ʻNyika inovakwa nevene vayo, Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi balo.ʼ Let us, therefore,
unreservedly continue to modernise, industrialise and grow our economy. None but ourselves have this
weighty responsibility.
“In unity and peace we are succeeding. Let us find assurance in that, with God all things are possible. Brick
by brick, stone upon stone and step by step, we are building the Zimbabwe we want”.
ZAOGA has its philosophy, “Working of Talents” (Kushanda Matarenda), a principle that the President said
the church must scale up at both individual and collective level.
“I challenge you to take up the opportunities in agriculture, mining and manufacturing, among other
critical sectors of the economy. After all, Proverbs 10 verses 4 and 5 says, ʻHe who has a lazy hand becomes
poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in
harvest is a son who causes shameʼ.”
“Going forward, my administration stands ready to facilitate the work of your African Christian Business
Fellowship Ministry, among other ministries. This must see us nurturing self-sustaining, productive, hard
working and economically empowered church leaders and citizens in general. Together as Government
and the Church, we have a duty to lift many more of our people out of poverty into prosperity.”
President Mnangagwa said production and productivity are biblical and Zimbabweans must be doers as
they collectively build the nation brick by brick for development that leaves no one and no place behind.
ZAOGA secretary general Pastor Misheal Nyambo said the centenarian who founded the church which is
home to millions of people is an advocate of empowerment.
“We recognise the immense contribution that you have made to the church in Zimbabwe. You have been
an advocate for the empowerment of the youths, the disadvantaged and disabled. You have impacted all
the five continents. You are a transformational leader. A mentor, an educationist, you strive to empower
humanity through hard work. You have contributed to the educational, political and social sectors of the
country. We are so proud of you Baba, our role model”.
Archbishop Gutiʼs wife, Euna, said the church was blessed to have the President at the celebrations.
“On behalf of the centenarian, the executive board and all the saints, we welcome you for coming to this
celebration of its kind. We know that you are so busy as we go for elections but you have squeezed your
time to come and celebrate with us. We thank you for being here,” she said.

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