PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday made an emotional plea for forgiveness when he officiated at the National Day of Prayer in Harare yesterday.
In his surprisingly impassioned prayer at State House, Mnangagwa – among other things – asked for clemency for the various misdeeds that have dogged his administration, including corruption and human rights violations.
The National Day of Prayer was held as Zimbabwe is in the grip of a huge economic crisis – the worst in a decade, which has stirred restlessness among long-suffering citizens.
In his invocation, Mnangagwa said some of the wrongdoings that had been witnessed in the country had been committed unconsciously.
“Dear God, Jehovah and the only true God, Father of our saviour Jesus Christ, I humble myself before you, together with the people of Zimbabwe over whom you made me a servant leader.
“I yield my heart, we yield our hearts together as a nation in faith and repentance to the rule and Lordship of the Son and our saviour, Jesus Christ.
“We repent before you of every sin and way in which we have displeased you and not glorified you alone as God,” Mnangagwa said.
“Forgive those who have worshipped idols and false gods. Forgive us all our immorality and uncleanliness.
“Forgive us for every act of injustice or corruption that has made the poor suffer or innocent to die.
“Forgive us as individuals and as a nation even for the sins of which we may be unaware. Cleanse us with the blood of your son and our Lord Jesus Christ,” Mnangagwa added.
Yesterday’s event was attended by several high profile figures, including many of the country’s top clerics from the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC), the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe (EFZ), the Zimbabwe
Council of Churches (ZCC) and the Indigenous Zimbabwe Inter-denominational Council of Churches, as well as the Zimbabwe National Elders Forum.
What caught many by surprise was that Mnangagwa’s prayer included many issues afflicting the country, which critics had said he was not keen to focus on.
His plea for forgiveness on corruption and the suffering of Zimbabweans also came at a time that his government has been blamed for presiding over the country’s worst economic crisis in a decade.
It also came as his government has been mired in alleged myriad corrupt deals, which have seen even some of his ministers being accused of aiding and abetting graft in their respective portfolios.
Apart from corruption, Mnangagwa’s administration has also been accused of mimicking the previous one of the late former president Robert Mugabe, which was notorious for clamping down savagely on critics.
Among many other things, his government has courted serious criticism for the August 2018 and January 2019 killings of civilians by security forces – following violent demonstrations by agitated citizens.
Recently, the government’s commitment to observing and upholding human rights in the country was also brought into sharp focus following allegations of repression, including the alleged abduction and torture of opponents.
Turning to the lethal coronavirus disease yesterday, Mnangagwa also appealed to God for the protection of citizens,
as the virus continues to spread in the country.
“Lord as we face this grievous pestilence of the coronavirus which has already killed some of our beloved ones.
“We make a petition to you according to Habakkuk 3 verse 2 which reads: ‘Lord, I have heard your fame, I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord’.
“Repeat them in our day in our time make them known, in the wrath, remember mercy. You are a merciful God, and we ask you today that you forgive our sins and heal our land.
“Make this storm cease. Stop the advance of this virus and the death it carries,” Mnangagwa said.
“We thank you that you gave us lead-time to prepare. But now, Lord, grant us wisdom. Show us the steps to take to overcome this virus.
“We also ask that you show us a cure for this virus,” he prayed further.
“The Word of God is clear that as the plagues of the last days come upon the earth, people all over the world will choose to fall into one of the two categories.
“Some, who humble themselves, acknowledge and glorify Jehovah as God and seek his help, and others continue to defy the one true God in unbelief.
“In Zimbabwe, we have chosen to be part of the first category of those who humble themselves, acknowledging God and glorifying him … We have chosen to repent and ask for his mercy, help, healing and wisdom in the face of this deadly coronavirus pandemic,” Mnangagwa also said.
This comes as Zimbabwe is currently under Level Two of the national coronavirus lockdown, which was first introduced by Mnangagwa at the end of March, as part of the government’s efforts to combat the spread of virus.
As part of further efforts to fortify the lockdown, the government has put in place several new regulations which – among other things – criminalise public gatherings and the non-wearing of face masks in public.
Last weekend, Mnangagwa eased the lockdown further, allowing more sectors to resume business.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the coronavirus comes from a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.
Its symptoms include pneumonia, high fever, flu, shortness of breath and diarrhoea – and the precautions that have to be taken include covering the mouth when coughing and sneezing, and continuously washing one’s hands.
Source – Daily News