MOST Zimbabweans yesterday snubbed the national day of prayer and fasting pronounced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week, dismissing it as a way of distracting citizens from the economic woes caused by his misgovernance.
Mnangagwa on Friday appealed to the nation to join him and church leaders from various denominations to pray against COVID-19 that has claimed four lives amid 383 infections since March this year.
Citizens in Harare, Mvurwi, Bulawayo, Zvishavane, Ngezi, Gweru, Kwekwe and Shurugwi, among other places, went about their business, ignoring Mnangagwa’s prayer day.
Those who spoke to NewsDay yesterday said the call was an insult to everything Godly in nature.
An irate Harare resident, who refused to be named, said: “What really do they take us for?
Fools? There is nothing spiritual about the problems that we are currently facing in Zimbabwe.
They are practical problems that need real solutions; they should stop playing with the name of God.”
A Harare vendor, Tariroyashe Techu, said Mnangagwa should first understand the Bible before making such declarations.
“He is trying to divert our attention from what is taking place on the ground,” he said.
Dexter Chimuti, another Harare vendor, said the Zanu PF government should stop insulting citizens by calling them to fasting when they are fasting everyday because of lack of food.
Agnes Gwavha, who was doing her shopping in Harare, said she did not even care about fasting and praying. “What we are basically saying is that they should let go, this whole hype about prayer and fasting is a ploy to buy time. It’s like trying to put air in a non-repairable tyre.”
Brix Samkange said: “Let us stop abusing God’s name and focus on what is more important.
“Our problems are man-made, there are no demons whatsoever. God does not have the time to listen to the prayers led by an evil government that has no respect for the needs of its subjects.”
Leah Takaendesa said Mnangagwa should have consulted before declaring the day because not all people were of the same religion.
Shurugwi businessman Daniel Mabonga, who owns shops at Chachacha Growth Point, said: “People in Shurugwi are suffering already.
“They do not fast because they do not have the food. They have been made beggars who wait for food handouts in the form of maize which the Zanu PF government abuses. They (people) said those who managed to pray asked God to remove the Zanu PF knee from their necks.”
Tendai Dandajena from Mvurwi said: “We cannot be ordered to fast by Mnangagwa when we are starving already. We are going about our usual business. You know what, you are actually reminding me of the so-called national day of prayer and fasting, I had forgotten about it.”
David Christmas from Mbire said: “I am not aware that it is a national day of prayer and fasting, but we have been fasting since November 2017.”
A Bulawayo motorist said: “I did exactly what was said by the President as you can see, I am employed by a party member as a driver. I fasted the whole day.”