Zimbabwe and social media has been awash with the sad news of the accident of apostle Talent Chiwenga of the TF Chiwenga ministries. Apostle Chiwenga lost his wife and another church member.
by Dr Masimba Mavaza
Instead of being in shock or in his shocked stance he made a video accusing the government of killing his wife and attempting on his life.
He chose to pick up on the deceased to be his witness. He said the deceased told him not to say his name because the killers were still there. What a perfect choice of a supporting witness.
Apostle Chiwenga is a street preacher who built a church on controversial grounds. He has attacked every other church and only his church was the true church. In essence apostle Chiwenga has created a cult and has played his congregation into worshipping him and believing in him as an anointed and chosen of God. The word “cult” or “sect” is a pejorative label used to discriminate against “new religious movements.”However, it seems disingenuous to ignore the historical significance and modern day applications of the word cult or sect.Today many controversial groups that have been called cults or sects are seeking to either eliminate that description or ignore it. Apostle chiwenga created a cult and has a host of apologists. These apologists often prefer the supposedly politically correct title “new religious movement. But historically cults have always been with us and they continue to be a part of the world today.The word cult can be broadly defined as “formal religious veneration,” “a system of religious beliefs and its body of adherents,” “a religion regarded as ‘unorthodox or spurious,’” “great devotion to a person or idea” as well as “persons united by devotion or allegiance to an artistic or intellectual movement or figure.
“Zimbabwe is particularly rife with religious groups that can be seen as cults, such as the prophets who preach more of politics than gospel. these religious groups were at one time also regarded by many as “unorthodox or spurious.But the most salient concern to the general public, law enforcement and government officials today regarding groups called “cults” is what potential they might represent to do harm. Apostle Chiwenga has specialised in castigating the government attacked the political figures. Of late he was trying to convince his followers that he is a target of an elaborate assassination plan. There are three primary characteristics, which are the most common features shared by destructive cults.
1. A charismatic leader, who increasingly becomes an object of worship as the general principles that may have originally sustained the group lose power. That is a living leader, who has no meaningful accountability and becomes the single most defining element of the group and its source of power and authority.
2. A process [of indoctrination or education is in use that can be seen as] coercive persuasion or thought reform [commonly called “brainwashing”].The culmination of this process can be seen by members of the group often doing things that are not in their own best interest, but consistently in the best interest of the group and its leader.
3. Economic, sexual, and other exploitation of group members by the leader and the ruling coterie.The destructiveness of groups called cults varies by degree, from labour violations, child abuse, medical neglect to, in some extreme and isolated situations, calls for violence or mass suicide. Power devolved from a single leader to a broader church government and such groups ceased to be seen as simply personality-driven and defined by a single individual. Some groups may not fit the definition of a cult, but may pose potential risks for participants. Chiwenga’s church has shown signs of a cult which are ,Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
• No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget or expenses, such as an independently audited financial statement.Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.Followers feel they can never be “good enough. The group/leader is always right.The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible. Chiwenga has wood-winked the congregants in his church and came up with a strange prophecy that he was about to be killed. On the fateful day apostle Chiwenga was coming from South Africa obviously stressed out by the long journey. He drove a stretch in a tired stopper. Chiwenga blames ZANU PF and the government for this accident. In his video message Chiwenga in pain and confused state accused unseen and unknown assailants of causing the accident
The irony of the matter is that Chiwenga was ferried from the scene of accident by a good Samaritan. The Samaritan turned to be a ZANU PF former councillor. Contrary to his claims of attempted assassination by ZANU PF. Chiwenga was rescued by councillor Piki a ZANU PF activist. Unbeknown to Apostle Talent Chiwenga, the man who rescued him from the jaws of the accident, is Mr Seviyasi Piki, an well known fervent Emmerson Mnangagwa backer and ZANU PF member. He is also former ZANU PF councillor. Piki rose above party politics and rushed Chiwenga to hospital. Chiwenga is not a victim of an assassination attempt. He is a product of negligent driving. We sympathise with him and we grieve with him in the loss of his wife and his colleague. However the apostle cum undercover politician faces criminal charges. In a way to avoid prosecution the good apostle resorts to draw sympathy from the populace by coming up with a theory which is crooked and horrible.
Chiwenga sought to tarnish the image of the government by portraying it as a killing outfit. Christianity does not mean prophesying about political leaders. God would not make such pronouncements in such a fashion. The relationship between Christianity and politics is a historically complex subject and a frequent source of disagreement throughout the history of Christianity, as well as in modern politics between the Christian right and Christian left. Christians should have little interest or participation in politics or government they should respect the government of the day as directed by the bible. Apostle Chiwenga has not obeyed the biblical dictates where it urges christians to respect their governments as they are anointed by God. It is diabolic for the purported man of God to accuse the authorities of murder when he is the chief culprit. Chiwenga has gained fame by attacking government and particularly ZANU PF. IN order to seek relevance he has to create a grand standing. Took an unfortunate incident as a way to firm. Chiwenga caused the death of his wife and his colleague. He should face the wrath of the law. His crime is called culpable homicide and he must be prosecuted. He must not be allowed in any way to abuse the name of God to escape justice. People should not take advantage of the democratic platforms set by ZANU PF and try to destroy it. They must not take the understanding of the party as a weakness. Do not be fooled God cannot be mocked. Those prophets who are abusing Zimbabweans and using the bible to their own advantage should learn from apostle Chiwenga. Their lies will catch up with them.