Gideon Madzikatidze recently in Mhondoro
Indigenous churches should constantly market their doctrines and cultural values in order to sell their unique features to the external world to augment the country’s development through promotion of religious tourist attraction centres, Zanu PF legislator for Mhondoro Mubaira constituency, Freddy Kapuya has said.
While addressing thousands who witnessed an annual feast of tabernacle at Saint John City centre (Jerusalem) and headquarters over the weekend, Kapuya commended the Saint John Apostolic Church of the Whole World’s endeavour to develop the area into a world class commodity that sells the country’s religious sector through tourism as a noble cause.
Kapuya said, “As the community of Mhondoro Mubaira, we are proud that the church will soon be contributing towards religious tourism since we have witnessed the construction of Saint John City which is a noble cause for development of our country and a contributor towards economic revival where local youths are now employed by the church as labour force.
“We have already witnessed a sharp increase in the area in terms of growth in ancillary activities as this will boost economic activities of the area as there are several stakeholders who are willing to partner in developing Mhondoro and turn around everyone’s economic fortunes into reality make indigenous church doctrines into a packaged commodity for sale to the external market through preservation, promotion and production of unique religious tourism package.
Kapuya added, “I wish to also extent my gratitude to the president-elect, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and congratulate him for job well done in unlocking the economic value of Mhondoro where he recently officiated the platinum rich project which will see thousands of unemployed youths accessing jobs and fending for their families in the quest of eliminating all acts of corruption due to poverty.
“As the responsible legislator, I will also encourage youths to desist from all forms of abuses and acts of violence, hence preaching peace as a template for political stability and building confidence among investors in our area as churches will be participating through religious tourism, tolerance and co-existence by accommodating ideological diversity as a priority among our citizens regardless of political affiliation, creed or colour,” Kapuya said
The Saint John Apostolic Church of the Wholeworld’s secretary general, Mr. Evans Mariga also concurred with the legislator in that the country should focus on developmental issues as a priority and urged churches to be proud of their doctrines as this will not scare away investors.
Mariga said, “As the church, we plead with all Zimbabweans to ensure that peace will perennially prevail among citizens in order to attract foreign direct investments and also encourage our indigenous churches to take their respective doctrines as a unique practice and commodity that if even exhibited to the external world, it generates much needed foreign currency through tourism.
“It is however important to note that as indigenous churches, there is need for discipline and high level of commitment towards development of our country’s religious tourism sector since there is diversity in doctrinal practises among religions Zimbabwe is endowed with, hence the need to avoid infringement upon other church’s doctrines might cause conflicts so tolerance and co-existence should be a priority in promoting religious tourist attraction centre and as the church, though the Saint John City is still underway, we will be having some sections that accommodate everyone (whether is a moslem, hindu, pentecostal, zion, foreigner, local, traditional leaders, among others where entrance is not restricted) and a prayer garden where people will be praying 24/7, with other sections resembling biblical monuments found in Israel and some inscriptions showing spiritual significance of the church regarding its founder,” Mariga closes.