Simiso Mlevu Herald Reporter
President Mugabe has criticised leaders of some Pentecostal churches who mislead their congregants into believing they can get rich quickly, while demanding that the church members give all they have to the church to enrich the pastors.
Speaking to thousands of Catholics and other people who attended Kutama Mission centenary celebrations in Zvimba on Sunday, President Mugabe also lamented the moral decadence in society.
He said Pentecostal churches were cheating desperate congregants by making them believe that they could become rich overnight.
“As for the Pentecostal ones, anyone who thinks because there is no job, he can just catch Genesis 1 and they just start preaching,” he said.
Imitating the forceful manner used by Pentecostal pastors when preaching, President Mugabe said after grasping Genesis 1 they start saying; “That is what God has done, I can also do that through him. I have the inspiration and the message.
“The dream I had last night was that I must do A&B, E&B. And you will get that (what the church wants) in no time.”
President Mugabe said it was unfortunate that people were desperate to have their desires met.
“So, oh! oh! oh! oh! And our people that’s what they want to see,” he said. “They are in a hurry to have their demands, their needs, fulfilled. But you must wait for them.”
President Mugabe urged people to be patient and work hard as prescribed in the Bible to sustain their livelihoods.
“That’s what we get even in Genesis when Adam was punished,” he said. “That you now have to sweat for you to live. But God was kind enough; there is the whole world, you see, just yours. You work on it. You have to work.
“A piece of ground, you grow potatoes; in no time, you become well to do.”
President Mugabe said some conmen were even going to the extent of using devious means to fleece Zimbabweans of their hard-earned cash in the name of religion.
“There are others varikuteya mari, varikubata mbeva dzemari,” he said. “Zvinobva zvanzi handei kumakuva, vakamuka ikoko vanokuisira mari muriva, but asi iwe unotanga waisa $300 muno umu, wozoenda ikoko mari hapana, zvonzi ah pane chawatadza iwewe. Ndiwe waita kuti mari iyende.”
President Mugabe is on record as saying some Pentecostal churches in the country were extorting gifts from their followers by making it mandatory for them to “give” to their leaders.
He urged church members from such denominations to pray for themselves, which is in sync with what traditional churches like Roman Catholic and Methodist encourage.
President Mugabe said morals were going down despite the country having so many churches.
“We are worried, I must say, by the downward trend in our morals,” he said. “The rise in the robberies, murders, just the negative side going up and yet we have so many churches.”