LEADER of the Johanne Masowe eChishanu sect Madzibaba Moses Gwasarira has hailed first lady Auxillia Mnangagwa’s visit to his shrine in Highfield, Harare, last week.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
The first lady was a guest disciple as she retraced her roots and briefly worshipped with thousands of Johanne Masowe eChishanu members.
To match the congregants and as a way of obeying the rules of the shrine, the first lady removed her shoes and wrapped herself in a white cloth.
She was accompanied by Health and Child Care ministry director for family health Bernard Madzima, who stood in for Health minister David Parirenyatwa.
In an interview with The Standard Style, Madzibaba Moses said members of the apostolic sect had been undermined over the years and the visit by the first lady would send a perfect message that people were equal before God.
“I never imagined the first lady would visit and spend the day with us. I am so humbled by the respect she has shown to our church. I am confident that this will teach some churches that members of the apostolic sects are also human beings,” he said.
“Our first lady has been an exemplary mother, a mother who does not discriminate against her children, but loves all of them despite their shortcomings and this is what she has shown us.”
Unlike other apostolic sectors, Madzibaba Moses said they do not restrict their members from visiting health institutions when they are sick as they know how essential it is to seek treatment when one is not feeling well.
“We really value issues of health, that is why we invited our mother the first lady, who is passionate about health issues as evidenced by the establishment of her Angel of Hope Foundation which is helping people with health issues across the country,” he said.
Addressing the congregation, the first lady said it was not something new for her to visit the shrine as she was once a member of an apostolic sect before getting married to the president.
“This visit is special to me as I can recall my days when I used to worship with Madzibaba Gibson. I was once part of the apostolic sect when I was still in Mashonaland Central under Madzibaba Gibson, but because of marriage, I had no option, but to change,” she said.
The first lady denounced child marriages, which are said to be prevalent within some apostolic sects, urging children to concentrate on their school work and advance themselves professionally and not to rush into marriage.