Norton MP, Temba Mliswa (Independent), says United Family International Church (UFIC) founder and leader Emmanuel Makandiwa should join ZANU PF structures and work for the party openly rather than hide behind the pulpit while furthering his political ambitions.
This comes after Makandiwa lavished praise on President Emmerson Mnangagwa during a church service he attended alongside First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga in Chitungwiza on Saturday.
Makandiwa claimed that it is not the responsibility of the Government to create jobs for Zimbabweans but individuals should prosper through their efforts. Below is Mliswa’s Twitter thread in full:
1/ Makandiwa should just join ZANU PF & stop this elevated posturing, feinting more enlightenment than everyone else. He is a Pastor for God’s sake & should operate in a smarter way. I’m Independent but openly state the only party I know is ZANU PF. He should do the same!
2/ He can join the party structures & advance the party propaganda openly not hiding behind the pulpit and abusing congregants by foisting on them his personal political positions purveyed with spiritual exousia.
3/ Being a true man of God isn’t about abstaining from politics or supporting the opposition. It’s about defending & supporting what is right. Standing for principles, the weak, the poor. Morals. Justice. Truth.
4/ As an individual he has every right to join the party and show explicitly his side. It’s unfair on his congregation, listening to him as a man of God and yet him using that position to advance his selfish, personal and partisan agenda.
5/ It’s unfair on the suffering people in his church to have their leader slyly operate as a pastor and yet use his spiritual position to advance secular agendas for selfish aggrandisement. His congregation is filled with jobless youths & he tells them Govt isn’t responsible?
6/ That is cheap propaganda we expect at rallies. Other Gvts monthly produce statistics of how many jobs they have created in the economy whether directly or indirectly because ultimately Govt remain responsible for the upkeep of its people.
7/ We know some of these guys simply use their “spiritual” talents and gifts for personal aggrandisement and we have restrained ourselves from getting involved because some of these issues are about personal taste, beliefs and preferences in life.
8/ However, going forward I would think Parliament should craft laws to deal with churches the same way Govt is going after NGOs. In the same way Govt regulates the media, lawyers etc. We want to follow where does the money go after people bring it? How is it used? Who benefits?
9/ Some church leaders have suddenly been “blessed” by God only after forming churches. Suddenly there has been a stampede to form churches. Too many revelations! It’s high time churches are regulated otherwise people are being fleeced by conmen.
10/ That is why I prefer the older churches such as Methodist, Roman Catholic, Dutch Reformed, Anglican etc. There is transparency and clarity in these churches as compared to these Pentecostals who weakly spiritualise everything to hide their shady ways.
11/The Bible is filled with Men of God who stood for the truth against Kings even to the point of death. Yet our version of Pentecostal leaders is weak and feeble lying that Christians have nothing to do with politics, churning out a bastardised interpretation of scripture.
12/ Resultantly, congregants have been daily fed opium of docility such that they are weak against injustices and repression under the false belief that whoever is ruling has been approved by God and anything goes!
13/ I believe there is a direct connection between the seeming political passivity of Zimbabweans and our being a Christian nation. The spiritual side has been used to strangle the political consciousness of the masses through the agency of people like Makandiwa.
14/ The Pastor has a venerated position in people’s hearts and minds and should not abuse that position to feed people his partisan political orientations. He should stand for truth as a principle and speak out against any injustice.
15/ The equivalent of some of these actions are found in the Bible too, with Balaam going out to prophesy against God’s people because he had been paid. Ultimately it will fail.
16/ Pentecostal churches are generally bigoted as institutions & view themselves as the sole proprietors of the gospel of salvation. To them, everything & everyone else is lost. It’s a dangerous posture that has created demi-gods who are not the foundation of truth & social justice.
17/ The lack of capacity for critical introspection within these Pentecostals has also damaged their ability to be solid as institutions & outgrow the person of their founders. Many remain extensions of their founding leaders who are themselves mere mortals prone to fall.
18/ Thus a correction of a church leader becomes an attack against the church & the foundation of their scriptural beliefs. The believers can’t distinguish the leader from the gospel! It’s tragic but the leaders want it that way because they are protected from critical questions!