VICE President Phelekezela Mphoko has implored churches to play a leading role in mobilising congregants to register to vote ahead of next year’s harmonised elections.
Addressing congregants during the ordination ceremony of the founder of Life in Christ International, Apostle Patson Shoko and his wife Ketura in Bulawayo yesterday, VP Mphoko said every Zimbabwean should exercise their constitutional right by electing a leader of their choice.
“May I call upon leaders of churches to help in encouraging their members to register to vote because it is every person’s democratic right to elect their leaders,” he said.
VP Mphoko said voter registration was an important issue in Government as it maps the way forward ahead of next year’s elections.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has so far registered more than one million people as voters countrywide with the Matabeleland provinces recording the least number of registered voters.
VP Mphoko, who also doubles up as the Minister responsible for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation, said churches play a crucial role in uniting people irrespective of their tribes and races.
“It is my desire to see churches and ministries working in partnership with the Government as a spiritual support pillar, praying for our nation and participating in nation building programmes.
“As the Vice-President and Minister responsible for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation, and in fulfilment of my mandate in this ministry, I urge churches to play a pivotal role. The church by its very nature preaches forgiveness and reconciliation,” he said.
“Churches should unite people rather than dividing them.”
VP Mphoko also took a swipe at bogus prophets and religious leaders capitalising on desperate people and deceiving them through their unfounded doctrines.
“The Government is against some churches which are mushrooming across the country whose motive is to swindle poor and desperate people of their hard earned cash or possessions such as livestock in rural areas. The Government is also aware of fake prophets and pastors who masquerade as men of God yet they are involved in all the vices implied in the Ten Commandments,” he said.
President Mugabe has on many occasions warned people against following false prophets and dubious spirit mediums whom he accused of extorting money from people.
In July this year, the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, blasted “pastors” who steal from congregants in the name of God.
In the past few years, Zimbabwe has witnessed the mushrooming of Pentecostal movements whose often youthful pastors stage-manage miracles to entice congregants from whom they make a fortune in the form of tithing, personal donations and seeding of money. — @mashnets