PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday disclosed that he resolved to renew his Christian life, having spent the better part of his life in the political wilderness after being initiated into nationalist party politics during his teens.
Addressing congregants at the Mabelreign Methodist Assembly in Harare, Mnangagwa disclosed that he was born and raised in a Christian family and would now want to reconnect with his Creator.
“We came to church today (yesterday) because this is where I was born. Since the 1940s, I have always been a member of the Methodist Church. We migrated to the then Northern Rhodesia now Zambia and went to Kafue Mission, which is also a Methodist institution. I left church to concentrate on the war (liberation struggle). When we came back from the war, I briefly attended church here when I stayed in Tynwald,” he said.
Known for intermittent quoting of Biblical stories and verses that he relates to political situations, Mnangagwa said he has constant arguments with First Lady Auxillia, who was also in attendance, over Christianity.
“We are always arguing at home with the First Lady over church attendance. I am convinced that one can pray to God from anywhere and He will hear them, but she is of a different opinion. She wants us to join others in church. I will try to continue attending. I was persuaded maybe three times to attend church in Kwekwe. I am very happy to be here and hope we will continue to come here,” the President said.
Auxillia, according to Mnangagwa, was an attested member of the Methodist Church Women’s Guild. The First Lady, in brief remarks, pleaded with congregants to “work with us”.
“I do not have many words, I am one of you and have moved from Kwekwe. Please let us work together,” she said.
Mnangagwa (75), who joined the liberation struggle as a teenager in the early 1960s, was arrested for sabotage by the Rhodesian regime and jailed for over 10 years after being spared the death penalty due to his age.
After his release, Mnangagwa was deported to Zambia before he joined the liberation struggle in Mozambique.
Since independence in 1980, he has served in various government portfolios under former President Robert Mugabe, including as Vice-President from 2014 to November 6 this year when he was summarily dismissed before taking over from his mentor on November 24, following a military intervention that forced Zimbabwe’s 37-year ruler to step down. NewsDay