WASHINGTON — President Robert Mugabe says some ministers of religion are getting rich overnight in Zimbabwe after making false prophecies.
President Mugabe, who made these remarks at the National Heroes Acre in Harare on Wednesday during the burial of media columnist and Zanu PF supporter, Don Muvuti, said it is worrying that prophets are getting cash at the expense of Zimbabweans failing to access money in commercial banks.
According to the state-controlled Herald newspaper, the president said, “….We thank pastors for reminding us of the importance of God. All pastors should keep doing the good work. We are a people able to read and understand the Bible ourselves. But some are still cheated into donating into those drums with false promises of getting rich overnight.
“People go there, and get false prophecies . . . Some go there and are told, you are going to be the next vice-president. Others go there and are told, you will be the next president … Oh! …. Oh!. Anyway, for that people can be forgiven. What we cannot forgive are rapists who rape toddlers after being promised that they can become rich overnight. Such people should rot in jail.”
A large number prosperity gospel entities are currently operating in Zimbabwe with a huge following in a nation almost crippled by a declining economy, owing to lack of foreign direct investment, subdued production of goods for export and related issues.
Mr. Mugabe also expressed dismay over an increase in the number of murder cases, saying the death penalty should be re-introduced.
He noted that some Zimbabweans, especially women, are being killed over trivial issues.
“You hear that some men get home and ask for a plate of sadza from their wives who get killed for no apparent reason. Surely killing someone for sadza? I say let us reintroduce the death penalty. I know that (Vice President Emmerson) Mnangagwa says we should do away with it. I have heard about what (Vice President Phelekezela) Mphoko thinks about this issue. But surely, killing each other is not what we agreed during the liberation struggle. So, don’t be surprised when you see a new law on the death penalty.”
Section 48 of the Zimbabwe Constitution stipulates that “Every person has the right to life. A law may permit the death penalty to be imposed only on a person convicted of murder committed in aggravating circumstances, and the law must permit the court a discretion whether or not to impose the penalty; the penalty may be carried out only in accordance with a final judgment of a competent court; the penalty must not be imposed on a person who was less than twenty-one years old when the offence was committed; or who is more than seventy years old.”
The late Muvuti died of cancer. He is survived by his wife, Darknetty Deliwe Muvhuti, eight children and 17 grandchildren.