Level-headed Zimbabweans have demanded that attacks on United Family International Church (UFIC) founder Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa must stop forthwith as they are unfair.
Prophet Makandiwa has come under a barrage of criticism mainly from the opposition CCC members and opposition-linked NGOs, which were displeased by his views that the country had picked a commendable development trajectory under President Mnangagwa.
President Mnangagwa, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, among other senior Government officials, were invited to attend the UFIC’s Easter Conference at its imposing church in Chitungwiza on Saturday.
In his remarks, Prophet Makandiwa commended the good works being done by the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa.
Some of the comments that have ruffled feathers in opposition ranks include where the hugely respected cleric said: “I love your leadership. Your God-given ability to concentrate on your work while people talk negative things is beyond measure. You are blessed.
“Even if you desist from campaigning, the works will speak for you. I cannot look at such a good road and be quiet. Looking at the work that you have been doing I can spend the whole day. The rehabilitation and modernisation of roads embarked by President Mnangagwa and his Government is already saving lives.
“We could all be dead if it was not for your intervention on the coronavirus. The measures you put in place saved our lives.”
Prophet Makandiwa added that his “heart bleeds” when he sees the next generation “drowning”, adding that others “have made an occupation out of criticising the Government”.
“Please focus on the progress,” said Prophet Makandiwa.
But Zanu PF and Government critics who have been peddling the misleading narrative that nothing was happening since 2017, have pounced on the kind remarks that reflect the truth on the ground as observed by Prophet Makandiwa, to abuse him.
Displeased by the criticism, Destiny for Africa Network founder, Reverend Obadiah Msindo, yesterday told The Herald that there was need to respect the UFIC and Prophet Makandiwa.
“The UFIC has educated people, it has Bishops and other senior people who have not criticised their leader for inviting President Mnangagwa and making the remarks that he made,” said Rev Msindo.
“(Prophet) Makandiwa is not Zanu PF, he is a prophet and for President Mnangagwa to be alive today, it is because (Prophet) Makandiwa prophesised that something bad was going to happen to him when he was still Vice President, and the church prayed for the then VP Mnangagwa when he was poisoned and he is alive to this day.
“So my view is that Zimbabweans should not interfere in the affairs of the UFIC. Vanhu ngavarege kuhukura (people should stop barking) about the UFIC because when that church sees President Mnangagwa, they will be seeing a miracle after their leader saw an impending danger and prayed to avert the worst.”
Other concerned citizens took to social media to confront the armchair critics, with @TendayiZinyama saying: “Explain this picture (in which CCC senior official Mr Job Sikhala posed for a photo at UFIC on Sunday). “Why did this man go to same church you accuse its leader of every wrongdoing?”
Another twitter user, @HarareNdini, said: “Is that what American embassy told you to say? Makandiwa should never explain anything to you or any like-minded people, but for the record, HE President ED Mnangagwa is the Head of State of Zimbabwe and has visited many churches. Why now do you want to bully Makandiwa?”
Prophet Makandiwa is free to associate with people of his choice, said another twitter user, @zimbology.
“If he believes that his role as (a) religious leader of his community is to offer religio-political guidance, then he’s free to do so. His followers are free to accept his guidance or reject it. Churches cannot remain silent on politics.”
Another twitter user, @fuzz_y_goo said: “Those of mixed political affiliations knew that @edmnangagwa was coming and they, of own volition, decided to participate.
“They had an opportunity to walk out and that they didn’t, they surely wanted to be there. Makandiwa did what he did in his church, not CCC office.”
Wellington, who uses the twitter handle, @WellyNyambayo, said even if the critics spent two weeks talking about Prophet Makandiwa, “am not leaving the church but your political party”.
Innocent Kamutando said: “You are not one (of) his congregants, why speak on their behalf? It’s not a crime to have politicians attending church services neither is it a crime to speak well of national leaders. A little bit of maturity will go a long way.”