While Tsvangirai prays for Mugabe to have wisdom, others pray for him to be arrested and tried in The Hague

Posted: February 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

Religion took a centre stage in my political world last week in countries where I come from and where I live. For this reason, I couldn’t resist the temptation of writing about it and what the people who lead us think about it. In the United Kingdom, a judge gave a ruling that banned saying prayers at the beginning of meetings in a local authority council. As if that wasn’t enough, this victory of atheists inspired a group of UK legislators to protest against the norm of saying prayers before parliament sittings at Westminster. This move has, however, been crushed by some key politicians including the Speaker of Parliament who said insisted long-standing laws would mean any attempt to end prayers in the House of Commons would fail. A spokesman for the Speaker (yes there really is such a role!) said: ‘Under the Bill of Rights 1689, the House of Commons has the right to decide on its own processes and procedures.’ I doubt that this is the end of it though – I’m sure we will hear more about it in the near future.

Back to Zimbabwe where media reports (which I am sure will be accused of misquoting him) reported the Prime Minister saying that He and Mugabe were chosen by God and the duty for us as citizens is to pray for them to lead us in a better way. Many would have rubbished the story had it been the state media only to report on it but the story is also doing rounds in the independent press. Given

Today he is Churchman Bob

the brutality of Mugabe and his people, some people will find it strange to hear the PM asking people to pray for Mugabe. Throughout his political life Mugabe has presided over the deaths of many, and most of us would not want to associate such killings with God.

All of this begs the question: “What is the political relevance of religion in Zimbabwean society – are people not using religion to push their own selfish ends?”

Some people agree with the PM, saying the Bible does encourage us to pray for our leaders. Others suggest that if we were to follow arguments like these from the Bible, then the PM is wrong in putting himself forward as an alternative leader to Mugabe because the Bible says we should pray for leaders to have wisdom rather than challenge them. These arguments are clearly contradictory and can go on forever but for me the interest is in the current circumstances in which we are supposed to pray for our leaders. Political violence is on the increase in Zimbabwe. Over the past two weeks the PM’s party reported that two of its supporters have been brutally killed by Zanu PF supporters. Others comment that over 200 people were killed by Mugabe and his men during the 2008 election campaign, and over 20,000 people were massacred in Matabeleland and Midlands by the same man we should supposedly be praying for. Moreover to my mind it would be wrong to pray for an 87 year old man to have wisdom to lead when he should have retired gracefully long ago.

Ultimately quoting of the Bible in this way worries me because Zimbabwe is going through a difficult transition which needs vigilance, total awareness and the truth. As individuals we may wish to pray for the souls and success of our leaders but might it not also be a

"..and tomorrow Bob the Wanted"

trick by leaders to pacify us using religion.

I would suggest, then, that our prayers should be directed towards asking God to liberate us from the jaws of total dictatorship and the corrupt tendencies that we live under. We should be praying hard for justice to be delivered to the victims of political violence, rape, hatred and other ills that have been inflicted on us willingly and knowingly by political authority of the Mugabe regime. This is less an attack on what the PM apparently said and more a plea for political answers and accountability for their actions from all our politicians, and at this time of the GNU no one can be an exception.

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Comments
  1. Rejoice Ngwenya says:

    @ hararesunset
    I myself am a practising Seventh Day Adventist [like Sandra Ndebele!] and have read my Bible every Sabbath [hopefully] since I was literate [1967]. The Bible talks about praying for one’s enemies – but in the context of their demise. It also talks about loving your neighbour – more like if Chipangano is next door, show them you are not afraid of admonishing them.

    But to pray for Mugabe – would be to ask God to make this dictator see wisdom, admit he is a sinner, call him to account for his crimes, confess and get him baptised. There is no way my Bible talks about elongating the rule of murderous leaders. People like Naboth and Soul had one destiny – to die violently. Once again,Tsvangirayi has got it all wrong. Until Mugabe and his cronies admit and confess to Gukurahundi, 2000 farm murders and June 2008 atrocities, I urge my local [SDA] Union, the African [SDA] conference and the World Adventist General Conference, our TV channels Hope TV and Three Angels Message to put up sermons every week to condemn Mugabe-type dictatorships.

  2. Mathula says:

    I hear you Bab ‘uNgwenya. The bible has so many verses which one can quote. To choose this one is another issue which “strangers will raise suspicions”. I am sure there are so many horrible things that Mugabe has done. His time has come and gone and at this time I dont see the reason why I hould pray for him. He refused our prayers a long time ago and so he must face the music of criticism 24/7…

  3. Politician Jones Musara says:

    Ditto!

  4. christopher j albert says:

    What are the charges against the Commander In Cheif of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.What has he defended??

  5. […] church member wrote this in Feb: Our prayers should be directed towards asking God to liberate us from the jaws of […]

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