National Patriotic Front (NPF) spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire, has defended United Family International Church (UFIC) founder and leader Emmanuel Makandiwa after he came under intense criticism for inviting President Emmerson Mnangagwa to his church service on Saturday.
Mawarire claimed that Mnangagwa had been invited to witness the UFIC new church building not as ZANU PF leader but as the country’s President.
Mnangagwa, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga attended the service which was held at Makandiwa’s Church in Chitungwiza.
Norton MP, Temba Mliswa (Independent) is among prominent people who criticised Makandiwa for inviting Mnangagwa to the service. Said Mliswa:
Makandiwa should just join ZANU PF and stop this elevated posturing, feinting more enlightenment than everyone else.
He is a Pastor for God’s sake and should operate in a smarter way. I’m Independent but openly state the only party I know is ZANU PF. He should do the same!
He can join the party structures and advance the party propaganda openly not hiding behind the pulpit and abusing congregants by foisting on them his personal political positions purveyed with spiritual exousia.
Being a true man of God isn’t about abstaining from politics or supporting the opposition. It’s about defending and supporting what is right. Standing for principles, the weak, the poor. Morals. Justice. Truth.
As an individual, he has every right to join the party and show explicitly his side. It’s unfair on his congregation, listening to him as a man of God and yet him using that position to advance his selfish, personal and partisan agenda.
Responding to Mliswa, Mawarire said that the fact that Mnangagwa came with Misheck Sibanda, the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, proves that the event was a government programme and not a ZANU PF event. Said Mawarire:
Hon Mliswa, you are the one in Parliament, you should understand better the distinction between a government function and a political party one.
[President Mnangagwa] was invited as a government leader, to come and witness the UFIC new church building, that’s why he came with Dr Misheck Sibanda, the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet.
The presence of Dr Sibanda, on its own, emphasized that the event was a govt programme, not a ZANU PF function.
I have seen those who have new businesses or have built new buildings calling in government officials for tours in their capacity as govt leaders, not political party functionaries.
Why is it that when UFIC does the same, you choose to see ED as a ZANU PF leader, not a government leader?
Even if it was a political party, isn’t the Prophet smart supporting what you support?