FORMER Anglican Archbishop of Manicaland, Elson Jakazi, who is now leading another faction, has angered his church members after he openly campaigned for Zanu PF.
Jakazi, who was involved in a protracted legal battle for the control of the Anglican Diocese of Manicaland with the Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa (CPCA), established the Evangelical Anglican Church International in April this year.
The Supreme Court settled the matter early this year by ruling in favour of the CPCA leaving Jakazi and his followers with no option but to establish their own splinter church.
Addressing about 20 000 people who attended the Zanu PF star rally at Mutare Aerodrome on Tuesday, Jakazi said he was blessing Mugabe’s victory when he squares off with MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the MDC’s Welshman Ncube and Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa on July 31.
Jakazi said: “I want to encourage you to vote for Zanu PF. I am blessing the victory of Mugabe. I call upon people to choose life and consider the future when they vote in the forthcoming elections.”
He said God should help Zanu PF to lead the people, adding that Zimbabwe was endowed with mineral resources, which the people of Manicaland should benefit from.
“I pray to God to help us benefit from our resources. We are like the Israelites and we are all yearning to go to Canaan. I want all people to remember this when they vote.”
However, some of his church members said they could not be influenced on their individual choice of candidates.
“We are not guided by one’s belief,” said one church member. “While he might say he is going to vote for Zanu PF, that statement does not necessarily reflect our views. I will vote for a party of my choice when the time comes. My vote is my secret.”
“We are very angry about his statements at the rally. The public has to know that those were his opinions and they were not from the church,” said another church member.