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Winners, losers and respect for authority

Our beautiful country of Zimbabwe has just undergone a process of elections in which victors emerged. The majority of losers accepted their loss magnanimously while others contested the election results. In every election and selection process there are bound to be losers and winners. The victors should be gracious in victory and embrace those who lose, while the losers should respect the results — the will of the people. Do not try to overturn the people’s choice even if you lose by just one vote. Majority rule should always prevail. That’s the essence of elections. However, any unfair win obtained through cheating or any form of chicanery should be disqualified.

Sundayword BY PROSPER TINGINI

The scriptures tell us that whoever is chosen by the people is in fact God’s choice. In Deuteronomy 17: 15, the Lord spoke to the people: “You may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose. One from your brethren you shall set a king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother (your nationality).” God, therefore, cements the choice of the people to agree with His own choice. Whoever emerges as the winner and leader is ultimately God’s choice. Those who try to force themselves upon the people after failing to score the requisite number will be acting against God.

Likewise, the followers of those who have lost should accept the will of the majority. A nation cannot be governed through the will of a minority. That scenario does not have the blessing of the Lord. It will bring a curse upon a nation. There is a saying: “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” What you see as good in your eyes does not necessarily translate to be good in everyone else’s view. Do not then force your views on others. People should be free to stick with their own views, but should not try to cause disharmony amongst the population in pursuit of power. Power belongs to the people who elect the leader.

It is incumbent on every citizen to respect authority whether of government and of any other chosen authorities to sanctify the will of God. In a letter to the Romans, Paul wrote: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore, he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgement. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but too bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be subject, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. “Pay all of them their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honour to whom honour is due.” (Romans 13:1-7)

There are many other passages in the scriptures which give us a clear indication that indeed politics and religion go hand in glove. Any person insinuating that religion has no room in politics is not only mischievous, but ignorant of this fact, and any sentiments supporting that notion should be thrown into the dustbins. The biblical Moses was both a political and religious leader who even led people in many battles. Speaking with God directly, he led the Israelites from slavery in Egypt to the doorsteps of the promised land of Canaan. He is revered as a great leader and prophet, and his duties were intertwined.

Going back to our Zimbabwean political scenario, it is very unfortunate that the electorate is very polarised demographically between the urban and rural population. The past elections clearly indicated a pattern showing the urban populace to be vigorously in support of one party and the rural electorate in support of the other. What made the outcome different was more of the difference in size of the population between the two. The rural population is greater than the urban population, hence the party with stronger rural support won the day. There are many factors that have given rise to this situation. We can safely assume that as long as this situation remains unchanged, the party with the rural support might always win. While the rich, the intellectuals and bourgeoisie are concentrated in the urban settings, their lives and political outcomes will most likely be decided by their rural counterparts. They cannot cry foul when their party candidates lose because it is a game of numbers.

Regrettably, we have witnessed a flurry of internet and mobile platform messages denigrating the outcome of the election results by a section of losing party supporters. Not only did they condemn the people’s will, ie, God’s will, they went on to make declarations vowing another five years of suffering for the people of Zimbabwe, in all sorts of derogatory terms. By making declarations pronouncing the continued misery for the people, these people are in fact inviting a curse to befall the country and its people. What comes out of our mouths the Lord will grant. If we declare with our mouths that we are destined for another five years of stagnation, then indeed that will come to pass. We will become whom we declare to be through our own words. We will be making vows that will come back to haunt us. Let’s refrain from predicting doom ahead because God will turn His back on us. Instead let’s all pray to God to bless our economy, to bless our country, to bless us all as one people.

Zimbabwe, let us unite as one nation, one people, and be positive in our thinking. Positive thoughts will bring positive actions and results. We should not let politics depress us or excite us so much that we forget to live for God, for others, for ourselves and for our country. Let us all contribute to building Zimbabwe and be involved in the development of all facets of our communities.

May the Lord bring about an economic turnaround to Zimbabwe.

Prosper Tingini is the president of the newly-established and registered Children of God Missionary Assembly. As an interdenominational body, I invite all who wish to undertake Bible studies with a view to be certified as ministers of religion to call 0771 260 195 or Email: ptingini@gmail.com

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