HARARE – President Robert Mugabe yesterday mocked his senior lieutenants who flock to prophets seeking political ‘‘prophecies’’, especially ahead of next year’s general elections.
The 93-year-old leader — who apparently skirted the raging factional wars engulfing his long-ruling Zanu PF party — also launched a vitriolic verbal tirade on swelling bands of contemporary pastors, describing them as fake men of God using the cloth to extort desperate congregants.
He said this while addressing a handful of mourners who turned up for the burial of little-known national hero, Don Muvuti.
“We want proper pastors who serve God and not those that seek to use God to extort money from the people. I hear that in some churches, they fill drums with money and I wonder how they manage to fill those drums because our people are always crying out to say we do not have money, but when a pastor comes along all of you will one day get rich, people accept that, it’s a lie. You pastor, first enrich yourself and stop bringing buckets into church to take money from people,” he thundered.
He then took a swipe at top Zanu PF officials who engage prophets to get oracles about their political futures.
“Some go to these prophets seeking to hear if they will remain in their positions or they will be upgraded with elections coming. The pastors will always be ready for such people and when they come, they are told you shall become the vice president.
“Someone is told that he will inherit the throne when the president is gone. The prophet will claim he sees you in his visions getting the presidency and then you go around in pride saying I will be the Zanu PF leader, oh, what kind of people are we? Is our education working?
“Some are threatened by the prophets that within a week, they would be destroyed and this strikes great fear in them and they end up submitting to the prophets’ demands,” Mugabe said, attracting laughter from the crowds.
Last year, State Security minister Kembo Mohadi torched a social media storm when a video of him attending controversial Malawian preacher, Shepherd Bushiri’s church service where he was told he was destined for higher political office.
A picture of Zanu PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere, apparently at a home of an evangelist from Guta raMwari in Bulawayo went viral on social media networks in July when he was fighting for political survival after he was accused of allegedly plotting to topple Mugabe through setting up parallel structures among a number of allegations.
Interestingly, Mugabe has himself been sucked in the controversy surrounding the alleged capture of popular prophet Aaron Mhukuta, aka Mudzidzi Wimbo who is credited with a 1957 prophecy which predicted that Mugabe would rule Zimbabwe.
Ironically, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is reported to harbour strong presidential ambitions and Kasukuwere have been to Wimbo’s shrine in Madziwa, raising suspicion that they may have been seeking his blessing in their pursuit for higher offices.