President Emmerson Mnangagwa paid a private visit to the late Johanne Marange leader Noah Taguta Momberume’s family on Saturday, for the first time following the death of the apostolic sect leader last month.
Mnangagwa landed in Marange just after 8am and left just before mid-day, NewsDay can reveal.
After the death of the popular apostolic sect leader, Mnangagwa assisted with a State-funded funeral where Manicaland provincial affairs minister Nokhutula Matsikenyere represented the government.
A senior church member and Zanu PF Mutare west MP Teedzayi Muchimwe confirmed the private visit.
Mutare West constituency incorporates the Marange area.
“President Emmerson Mnangagwa privately visited us, it was a good visit and he met our current leader who is now our leader,” Muchimwe said.
“The President also visited St Noah Taguta College and had an inspection of the computers he donated recently and was impressed by the facilities at the college.
“The President also said the church should remain united after the death of our leader Taguta and we are going to remain united,” he added.
Noah Taguta was buried in a cave on Chinyamukumba mountain range.
Mnangagwa’s visit to Marange has been seen by analysts as an appeasement to a Zanu PF stronghold as the ruling party heads for the 2023 elections.
The Apostolic sect commands a huge following in the country and the late former President Robert Mugabe used to visit the Marange shrine every year during the sect’s annual Passover and this won him many votes.
Last year the apostolic sect members defied COVID-19 regulations and gathered in their thousands during the annual Passover.
The church is known for polygamy and child marriages.
However, divisions have continued to rock the church with the late Noah Taguta’s brother Clement seeking an interdict barring the church leader from being buried in Chinyamukumba mountain.