President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday sent his condolences to the family and church of Johane Masowe eChishanu Vadzidzi VaJesu Church founder Aaron Mhukuta Gomo, popularly known as Wimbo, who died on Thursday in Harare.

President Mnangagwa described Mudzidzi Wimbo as a friend.

Zanu-PF Politburo member Perrance Shiri delivered the condolence message at Centre Africa Zimbabwe Headquarters at Goora in Madziwa where Mudzidzi Wimbo was laid to rest yesterday.

Mudzidzi Wimbo (96), also known as Majinetsa, died of pneumonia on Thursday morning at Arundel Hospital.

“Before becoming President, President Mnangagwa visited the late Mudzidzi Wimbo.

“In his first rallies, his first port of call was at Siyalima in Guruve and this church,” said Shiri.

“This shows the respect he has for this church and for its leader Mudzidzi Wimbo.

“This church is known for its good deeds. We have many churches in this country, some whose leadership are overseas.

“However, when talking about politics, these churches do not tell the truth about the political situation in this country. They end up being used to degrade our country and its people unnecessarily,” said Shiri.

He added: “Mudzidzi Wimbo’s church originated in this country and understands the aspirations and wishes of Zimbabweans.

“They do not allow themselves to be used and corrupted by outsiders. You are an independent church.

“You are a church that does not allow oppression and advocates for the emancipation of the black majority and freedom of worship.

“The late Mudzidzi Wimbo prophesied about the liberation struggle before it started and who was going to rule Zimbabwe after the liberation struggle.”

Shiri said it was sad such churches were looked down upon in come quarters.

“It happened just like his prophesy. The apostolic sect is looked down upon by people who think that the sect does not value education and does not have a zeal to prosper in life.

“To be truthful, the apostolic sect like this one values education. They have a state-of -the-art school which has plenty of computers.

“We thank the light that Mudzidzi Wimbo showed us on issues of education. He taught his congregants to do self-jobs and survive on the sweat on their labour.”

Mudzidzi Wimbo was buried before his four children and few relatives, including Major-General Douglas Nyikayaramba and Mr Tavengwa Chihuri.

His two wives and other children did not attend the burial as there is tension between the family and the church.

Wimbo reportedly predicted the rise of Robert Mugabe years before he was known in political circles.

Since 2014, Wimbo’s life has been a roller coaster as different Zanu PF factions and sections of the armed forces reportedly pestered him to anoint a Mugabe successor.

Sources say he was President Mnangagwa’s personal spiritual advisor.

Wimbo was once abducted for several months after assisting Mnangagwa and the military to deal with the Grace Mugabe led G40 faction..

The ascendancy of Mnangagwa provided fresh fighting grounds between the followers and family of Madzibaba Wimbo.

The church is also reported to have abducted the revered religious leader from his homestead to a shrine and his family has fought over control of the 96-year-old prophet.

He is survived by two wives, 18 children and several grandchildren.

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