Rev Andrew Wutawunashe
Sunday 26th August, 2018 was, for us the people of Zimbabwe, both a historic and providential day in the illustrious, if often turbulent journey of our nation.
Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, a leader whose life, from an early age, has literally played out practically every experience of our people, both the positive and the painful, was inaugurated as the third President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
Without doubt, events in the nation’s political arena in recent years, culminating in truly unpleasant episodes in 2017, had adopted an unthinkable lethal insanity which had the nation teetering on a cliff-edge of certain destruction.
Instead of the Godliness, peace, unity, just rule, freedom and economic opportunity which the people of Zimbabwe deserved, an explosion was clearly imminent following which this nation would have been driven into a conflagration starkly different from the present season of opportunity which was providentially midwifed by Operation Restore Legacy and subsequently by President Mnangagwa’s New Dispensation.
The nation, and literally the whole world, unanimously characterised the unprecedented Operation Restore Legacy, peacefully spearheaded by the military and the war veterans, as a miracle.
And a miracle indeed it was – it was nothing short of Divine Intervention – God’s answer to years of sighing and prayer by the people of Zimbabwe.
And in typical Divine fashion, out of a baptism of fire, God elevated a man, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, to be, with his vision of a New Dispensation leading to a decades – overdue democratic Second Republic, the Biblical answer of peace for Zimbabwe.
When General Chiwenga’s troops and tanks rolled into the city, and the soldiers were welcomed as redeemers by the people, it was a clear manifestation of a working of God – the proverbial lamb and lion were lying side by side in peace.
However, in a setback which of necessity we must all firmly regret, yet not allow to reverse the momentum of the New Dispensation, needless politically motivated violence, destruction and mayhem resulted in the tragic shooting of six civilians as efforts to restore peace in Harare city centre were launched. This was after a harmonised election which had been held in unprecedented peace and freedom, and which resulted in a Presidential poll result in which, due process being followed, the opposition’s contestation of President Mnangagwa’s victory was referred to the Constitutional Court, which returned a decision upholding Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory and declaring him duly elected President of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
All this dramatic political theatre has understandably, as is frequently the result of the application of Western-style democracy, left our people in different, conflicting and in some cases even polarised mind sets.
Yet it is in such times that we must revert to our safest castle or fortification: the understanding that, whether losers or winners of this contest, we are still one people with one destiny – Zimbabweans, united by the Divine ordination of nationhood, by blood bonds and by our beautiful flag.
Our destiny is in our hands together, and we must not connive to burn our own house and its moment of opportunity over this contest.
It is our duty which we owe to future generations to regroup, go forward and be wise stewards of the season of unquestionable opportunity which God has put into our hands, to rebuild our nation spiritually, socially, economically and, of course, politically.
It is indeed time to relegate political contestation to its place and to recognise that the dynamics that give our people livelihood are within our reach.
It’s time to use this God given New Dispensation to rebuild our nation. It is also time to embrace the providential leader God has elevated among us – President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.
There are some inspiring words in the Bible spoken by a man called Amasai at a time when God was raising a man called David to be leader over the bitterly divided nation of Israel.
Appreciating the interest of the nation as well as the overwhelming task before David who had become the leader, Amasai said concerning David, “Thine (yours) we are, o David, and on your side, son of Jesse: peace be unto thee and peace to your helpers…for your God helps you.” (1 Chronicles 12:18)
One of Zimbabwe’s ancient seers once predicted that President Mnangagwa would need help both in ascending to the leadership of the nation, and in leading it.
At the moment in which we stand as a nation, I am persuaded that no matter what side of the political fence we stand, no matter what the past holds, no matter what we have approved or disapproved of, these are the words every Zimbabwean patriot with the future of our people at heart, of vital necessity must now say to Emmerson Mnangagwa.
He is our President, all of us. He carries in his heart a vital, God-given and restorative vision for our nation.
He has the sincerity, experience and capacity to actualise this national restoration, and in the short seven months in which he has led the nation, he has amply displayed the heart, diligence, hard work and competence to do so.
He has ushered the nation into a new era of unprecedented freedom, and achieved undeniable advances in the economy and international stature of the nation of Zimbabwe.
In the same spirit therefore in which Amasai said concerning King David, “Peace be to your helpers…”, it is now imperative to say to all the people of Zimbabwe, no matter what their political affiliation, and to the world’s community of nations: “In the interest of the welfare and progress of the people of Zimbabwe, IT’S TIME TO HELP EMMERSON MNANGAGWA. WHEN YOU HELP EMMERSON MNANGAGWA, YOU HELP THE PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE.”
It is time to say, both in words and deeds to President Mnangagwa, “We are yours (you are our President), son of Mnangagwa – we will help you, and may God help you”.
I have had the privilege of being allowed a front seat in the life of Emmerson Mnangagwa, and am privy to the burdens and motivations of his heart that drive him as a leader. Emmerson Mnangagwa is not the normal political animal driven by a thirst for power.
To the contrary, he is clearly a Moses, equipped by his tenure in Pharaoh’s palaces, who is convinced that, with this capacity, he has received God’s calling to unchain his people from what he perceives as the shortcomings of the First Republic (1980-2017).
He is a Christian leader who is determined, with God’s help, to lay foundations that will turn Zimbabwe into a competitive middle-income democracy by the year 2030.
Even the opposition parties should take heart from the fact that while for years they have demanded change (chinja maitiro), President Mnangagwa, recognising that he was, as God would have it, the one best placed and empowered to do so, has embraced the need for change and is radically and positively changing the ways of the nation in all the ways that are in his power to change – witness alone for example the hitherto unprecedented way in which everyone freely and peacefully campaigned and voted during the 2018 harmonised elections.
I must say unreservedly “Let us help Emmerson Mnangagwa”; and if we don’t, God will help him as He has repeatedly demonstrated already.
God has preserved his life, and will continue to do so. God has repeatedly elevated him when powerful constituencies and individuals, even people seemingly on his side, have maneuvered to discard him.
His path has followed that of the proverbial stone which the builders rejected which then became the headstone of the corner.
No justification for sanctions
Some voices have cited the tragic deaths of people in Harare during violent protests as evidence that there is no change in Zimbabwe.
Those shootings, while tragic and regrettable, are not a justification for dismissing Emmerson Mnangagwa’s New Dispensation, nor for justifying continued economic sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Law enforcement agencies worldwide have often made mistakes in which even innocent civilians have been shot.
In the United States of America for example, unarmed innocent black people, including innocent teenagers, have often been shot to death by police.
This does not render the President of the United States illegitimate or subject to sanctions.
These tragedies, while regrettable, should be dealt with in their context, and not abused to cripple the dreams of a nation.
President Mnangagwa did not desire nor order the unfortunate shooting of people on the streets, neither has he condoned it after the fact. Instead, this leader, who has thus far kept his promises, instituted a commission of inquiry into the shootings.
It is imperative and morally right and just that the international community, and in particular the United Kingdom, the European Union and the United States of America, help President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the people of Zimbabwe rebuild Zimbabwe by speedily withdrawing the crippling regime of economic sanctions they have imposed on Zimbabwe.
Equally, these nations need to respond with concrete affirmation to Mnangagwa’s sincere efforts to re-engage them and to rebuild economic ties.
It appears that any rumour, however ridiculous, is enough to make them rush to judgement as long as it comes from the opposition, while there is a deafening silence concerning all the positive changes that Mnangagwa has authored in a few short months.
We say to President Trump, to Boris Johnson and others, just as you are fighting to make your own nations great, we in Zimbabwe have at last found a leader who can help us make our small nation great.
Do not continue hindering him, but rather help Emmerson Mnangagwa!
It is equally important that genuine investors take a hard honest look for themselves, and not be deterred by misrepresentations of the President’s New Dispensation.
Zimbabwe is indeed open for business.
Together as One
To Nelson Chamisa, MDC Alliance Presidential candidate, we say, your spirited campaign clearly resonated with a respectable number of Zimbabweans, but the numbers ultimately favoured your fellow citizen.
That energy now needs to be marshalled behind the leader who emerged from a well-contested process, President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
It is clear that millions of our people have put their confidence in you. Be a responsible steward of that confidence and assume the place and voice of a positive, patriotic, peaceful, democratic and nation-building political opposition.
Play your part in the task to unite our people and to avoid the division, polarisation and unproductive political obsession our nation suffered in the past.
God will reward you for being a voice for unity that rallies our people to own, honour and help their President, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Helping Zimbabwe to become a mature democracy where being in opposition does not mean nurturing an unrelenting animus.
To all who oppose or did not vote for Emmerson Mnangagwa, whether at home or abroad, it’s time to be Zimbabweans again and help our President, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The vitriolic, often obscene hate language from Zimbabweans which fills and defiles the social media pages is a self-destructive sub-culture which is tragically misrepresenting the dignity, decency, intelligence, respectfulness and oneness of our Ubuntu and Afro- Christian Consensus.
We are destroying our children a culture and a stature which moulded us into decent human beings.
Let us unite and help our President and nation, beginning also to speak well of one another and to be respectful towards one another in our discourse.
Let us speak well of our nation before the world. It is time to help President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
It is also time to say thank you to all, known and unknown that have helped him ascend to the deserved leadership of our nation. Thank you to all who have prayed, worked and supported this Joseph to our nation.
Thank you to servants of God like Bishop Nehemiah Mutendi who have encouraged him. Thank you to Vice-President Chiwenga – who with the army, the war veterans and the people – midwifed Operation Restore Legacy.
Thank you Vice-President Kembo Mohadi for standing firm with the vision, even in the face of deadly threats and actual attacks.
Thank you to the First Lady Amai Auxilia Mnangagwa who continues to be his faithful helper.
Thank you to world leaders and investors who have started to help him realise his vision for Zimbabwe.
Thank you to those who rendered to him constructive patriotic advice or criticism.
Thank you President Emmerson Mnangagwa, thank you Murambwi, for heeding the call to be the servant leader whom Zimbabwe both loves and needs.
Above all, thank you to Almighty God who called him to leadership and has continually preserved his life and granted him progress.
Thine we are (you are our President), o Emmerson thou son of Mnangagwa. Peace be unto you, and to your helpers… for your God helps you. God save President Emmerson Mnangagwa. It’s time to help Emmerson Mnangagwa!
We have Faith for the Nation.
Reverend Andrew Wutawunashe leads the Faith for the Nation Campaign, headquartered in Harare. This article was first published on August 26, 2018