Kariba-based Remnant Church leader Patrick Phillip Mugadza, now known as the “Mugabe-must-go pastor” believes God is punishing Zimbabwe for worshiping and turning President Robert Mugabe into a demi-god.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Mugadza, who met journalists in Harare last week, kept “apologising” to God on behalf of Zimbabweans for likening Mugabe to God.
“I am a pastor and I start almost everything and anything with prayer. So let me do that,” he said before addressing the press conference.
“I thank you for this wonderful day. I pray that as a nation you may forgive us Lord.
“And Father that in 1980, for elevating the President [then Prime Minister] like he was some god.”
Mugadza rose to fame after his arrest in Victoria Falls for staging a one-man demonstration against Mugabe’s alleged misrule during the Zanu PF annual people’s conference in December.
He went on a solo demonstration, holding a placard written: “Mr President, the people are suffering Proverbs 21 verse 13” prompting security personnel to arrest him, accusing the cleric of demeaning the office of the president.
“People ask why I did it alone. I tell them I did not do it alone,” Mugadza said.
“There were two of us but the other guy at the last minute dropped out.
“I do not blame him because of the heavy security presence in the area during that period.”
The 45-year-old Gutu-born father of two was unknown until the Victoria Falls incident, which saw him spend weeks in police cells after failing to raise the $500 bail imposed by a local magistrate.
“I actually once did a prayer walk from Bulawayo to Harare and that took me about nine days.
“Two years later, I did another one again from Harare to Marondera and on that one I was saying let’s trust in God as Zimbabweans because of the political situation in the country back then,” Mugadza said.
“Since 2006, I have been praying for the nation of Zimbabwe.”
Mugadza said he wanted Mugabe to know the difficulties facing the country and to urge him to resign to pave way for a transitional authority.
“Things are not okay in a lot of ways. As you may know, there is high unemployment and as a result, people are going to the Diaspora looking for employment.
“The family fabric gets torn apart. I believe the politics of this nation have let the people down in a very big way,” he said.
“When I came up with this whole thing, it was a way of sending a message that there is a way out for the people of Zimbabwe and that according to me is when we will have a government of technocrats.
“I know it has happened in several countries because they were facing difficulties.”
Mugadza added: “So given the political difficulties in our nation, what can only work is an interim government that will only be focusing on lifting up the economy of this nation from where it is right now, so that’s what I can say is the solution for this nation.”
He urged local church leaders, including popular preachers such as United Family and International Church founder Emmanuel Makandiwa and Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries leader Walter Magaya to start talking about the situation in the country to influence change.
He said he was not afraid to take Mugabe head-on single-handedly despite his prison ordeal.
“I am not afraid because fear will not bring anything. We are where we are because of fear,” he said.
“If you allow fear to control us then it means we will have a big problem.
“Let me say whether Itai Dzamara died or disappeared, he could have been a seed and if a seed is sown, it will germinate.”
“If anything happens to me and that I am killed or I disappear, I will be a seed and I will tell you that many Dzamaras will come in.
“So people should not be afraid. I won’t be afraid because even the president himself and other nationalists left their families because they were not afraid of the Ian Smith regime,” he said.
Mugadza said failure by the government to pay civil servants salaries on time was a sign that things were not well in the country.
“We have millions of people who left the country and are living deplorable lives in the Diaspora,” he said.
“People who are working are not sure they will continue working, no salaries, this is just to mean things are not okay.”
He took a swipe at prophets claiming that life in Zimbabwe will be prosperous this year.
“My question will be, if a prophetic message comes in to say that things will be okay, the question to the prophetic message is which things; and answers have to come,” he charged.
“Sometimes it will not be a prophetic message, it’s just saying things will be okay, and you know what, we have been told that many times, not even by prophets, but by many people.”
Mugadza said he did not want to appear as if he was saying some prophets were siding with the system, but said he was afraid some of them appeared as if they were doing just that.
“People will ask are you really true men of God if you don’t stand for them even when you see what is going on around.
“How can you ignore that? Something is not right,” he said.
Mugabe has in the past reacted angrily to criticism by the clergy.
He has in the past lashed out at former South African Anglican Church leader Desmond Tutu and Roman Catholic Church’s former Bulawayo Archdiocese bishop Pius Ncube.