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Some Have Faith in Mugabe

Numerous news sources have noted the role of church leaders and religious events in the current protests against Robert Mugabe; however, it’s also worth remembering that he does enjoy some religious support. A week ago the Zim Daily reported that

President Robert Mugabe has at last handsomely rewarded ZANU PF apologist self-proclaimed Reverend and founder of Destiny for Africa Network (Danet), Obadiah Msindo for the role he played in the controversial 2005 Parliamentary Elections.

Msindo, accused of raping his maid on five different occasions in July 2004 and has presided over several state functions at the Heroes Acre is now the proud owner of an S600 Mercedes Benz and a Lexus which he got from President Mugabe as ‘a token of appreciation’ for the role he played in the elections.

Msindo’s organisation has been lavished with funds and equipment, and a helpful police chief is blocking the rape investigation (which I blogged here). This is all pay-back for his notorious 2004 sermon in which he declared that

“Leadership comes from God and we must recognise that His Excellency is a black political, economic and cultural Moses. The President is fighting to break the dominance of the demons of neo-colonialism and imperialism.”

As I noted at the time, Msindo has also promised that Mugube would “raise millionaires and billionaires”, and he has proffered the opinion that George Bush is the “earthly representative of the Anti-Christ and the devil on earth”.

Meanwhile, Mugube’s Anglican stooge Rev Norbert Kunonga of Harare is coming under pressure. The Living Church Foundation noted a few days ago that

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and the Primate of Central Africa, the Most Rev. Bernard Malango, have pressed the Bishop of Harare to distance himself from the regime of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe.

…Thirty Harare priests, representing at least half of the active clergy and all of the white members of the clericus, have been forced to leave the country since 2003. Bishop Kunonga has replaced them by ordaining officials of President Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party, including the country’s vice president and two cabinet ministers, none of whom have theological training.

As I’ve blogged previously, Kunonga is universally known as “His Disgrace”, and in 2002 he declared that Mugabe was “more merciful than God Himself”, which won him a farm from the aged tyrant. The fact that Malango has turned against him may be of some significance; when Kunonga was facing an ecclesiastical trial for corruption last year, Malango dismissed the prosecutor, causing the trial to collapse. Kunonga boasted that Archbishop Malango was his good friend and that he was now free to “baptise children in the Zanu-PF way” (Malango took a tougher line against Gene Robinson, cutting links with New Hampshire).

Mugabe is also enjoying the support of Pentecostal Bishop Trevor Manhanga. The Zimbabwe Independent reports:

Those who suspected Bishop Trevor Manhanga was closer to the regime than was healthy for a Pentecostal minister will have had those suspicions confirmed by a letter in the Johannesburg Sunday Times last weekend… Using arguments that the Office of the President would applaud, Manhanga says that while “we have made grave errors in the manner in which we have managed our affairs, we must not underplay the role played by powerful outside forces whose interests were threatened by events around the land redistribution exercise”.

So a brutal and lawless assault on law-abiding farmers and their workers by thugs directed by a regime avenging electoral losses can be justified in terms of “outside forces”? And this from a church minister!

He warns South Africans that Zimbabwe’s land-grab was a Sunday school picnic compared to what will transpire in their country.

…Let’s hope the US embassy notes the contents of Manhanga’s letter. For some reason he is held in high regard there. Here is a bishop who watches while his own people are crushed but wants South Africans to know that Zimbabwe can solve its own problems without their help. Whose agenda is this? And how would South Africa have managed without external help?

Mugabe’s manipulation of Manhanga and some other figures was noted by the Daily Telegraph last June.

2 Responses

  1. […] blogged on religious support for Mugabe just a few weeks ago. Kunonga, as I noted then, is known throughout Zimbabwe as “His Disgrace”, and his […]

  2. […] Nolbert Kunonga, the pro-Mugabe Anglican bishop (I’ve blogged on the pro-Mugabe clerics here and here) who has been rewarded for his toadying with appropriated some agricultural land: St […]

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