By Margaret Kamba
His Excellency, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has added the aspect of prayer in his mantra "nyika inovakwa nevene vayo" to say "nyika inonamatigwa nevene vayo", which is a clear and outright charge to the church to pray for its country.
It is without a doubt that the role the church plays in national building is beyond measure, steming from not just character molding to skills development and economic growth itself.
Clad with this realization, the Federation for Indigenous Churches of Zimbabwe undertook upon themselves the task to conduct a leadership and marriage seminar aimed at sharpening the church towards its role.
Speaking on the sidelines of the seminar, Secretary General of the Federation for Indigenous Churches of Zimbabwe Bishop Simbarashe Zinhu said the seminar was aimed at awakening the leaders to how they must run their churches in accordance with the word of God.
"The seminar was on different topics on how the church must run in accordance with the word of God. We are seeing a lot of weddings and many divorces too because we lack the knowledge and wisdom. We therefore need people to understand these things."
Chairman Bishop Gift Marufu said the role of the church can never be underestimated.
"It's one of the key fundamentals that we as an organization take seriously so as to ensure that we support government in the mantra of "nyika inovakwa nevene vayo. What we have realised is that there is no foreigner who is going to come and assist us in turning around the fortunes of the economy and country," Bishop Marufu said.
"It is us with our skills. We have got highly skilled people in Zimbabwe. We have got resources. We have good soils, and if all those are going to be used for the betterment of our own people, the country will be one of the best in Southern Africa."
Speaking on the role of the church in drug and substance abuse, Bishop Marufu said "we are conscientizing our members to disseminate the information to people close to them, neighbours, the community and even our own children on how bad drugs can be a cancer to the society and future generations."
He added that with the cholera outbreak, emphasis is on compliance to set regulations.
He took time to thank the government for "providing a conducive environment for churches to gather without any interference."
Glory of God Apostolic Church's Bishop Clever Mashava said skills development can not only be for those outside the church but also within.
"The main objective of this organization is to empower our churches through their various congregations throughout the country. What we are also looking at is how we can improve their livelihoods wherever they are by conscientizing them on how to start a business," Bishop Mashava said.
"When government comes up with policies to empower communities, we take the word and using our expertise, explain to them so they can start businesses especially in rural areas where we are teaching them to start industrializing the areas they come from."
Apostle Polite, the founder of New Glory Sacrament of Emmanuel said "the church provides a good standing for the country. It teaches to love, and it builds and unites believers. Without the church, the country can not move well."
Overseer for the FICZ, Ruth Munozohamba said, "It is the responsibility of the church to ensure we build the country. If we work and pray for the nation, then it becomes better because the country is rooted in its people. We continue to see a lot of divorces and strange stories about some leaders. This is the reason why such seminars are important to instill good leadership."
Commenting on the recent developments around the Marriage Act, Reverend Clemence Machakaire said the church has always been supportive of the paying of dowry.
"The woman should have her dowry paid as a token of appreciation to her family. In the book of Genesis, Jacob worked seven years for a wife and then another seven years yo make them 14 for his rightful bride. We are, however, against exorbitant charging of lobola."