SPIRIT Embassy founder Uebert Angel’s public disclosures that he supported the ruling Zanu PF party have torched a storm within and outside church circles with some saying the remarks would likely cost him followers.
Angel, born Angel Mudzanire, declared his Zanu PF allegiance while addressing about 10 000 guests attending President Robert Mugabe’s 90th birthday party at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera on Sunday.
“Critics will be there and stories will be written (that) Angel has been swallowed by Zanu PF as if they know where I was before.
“I was born to a Zanu PF father and we had a sister who campaigned for MDC, but we never fired her from home,” he said in apparent reference to Mercy Mudzanire-Nongera, who last year contested and lost MDC-T primary elections for Masvingo Central constituency.
However, readers yesterday blasted the youthful Chuech leader for seeking “Zanu PF refuge to cover up his yet-to-be uncovered
Others defended the miracle-making Angel saying his political affiliation was a personal choice which he should not be demonised for.
“The timing is very suspicious in that the prophet has chosen to let his Zanu PF background be known when there is a running crackdown on errant church leaders and public officials,” a reader who declined to be named said.
“Let them learn from senior church leaders like Ezekiel Guti, his silence doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a political party.
“If you are man of God you cover all people — MDCs, non-aligned, Zanu PF, Zanu Ndonga and others,” wrote Aaron Mabanda on his Facebook wall.
Nigel Chisare Mambwere added: “Every person has his own right to choose, including the right to choose a political party of his own heart. I, however, do have reservations for religious leaders like prophet Angel’s public announcements because with the number of congregants he commands, the truth is a reasonable number of them may not be Zanu PF supporters or may not be interested in politics at all.”
Another reader, commenting on the NewsDay website urged Angel not to divide his followers by making political pronouncements like what he did on Sunday.
“I think the prophet has missed the mark on this. I foresee his follower base shrinking soon. Religious leaders should not openly show their political allegiances though they may have political parties of their choice,” the reader said.
Jonathan Jabu Khumalo said: “Back to the Bible, it says Ezekiel was a political adviser. Prophet Nathan supported David and gave him advice to rule Israel and he also denounced him when he took someone’s wife while she was bathing. I don’t see any problem about Angel as he calls himself to support the ruling party. The Bible says you have to follow the ruling party of that time.”
In 2011, Angel’s counterpart United Family International Church founder Emmanuel Makandiwa opened himself to a barrage of public criticism after he signed the Zanu PF anti-sanctions petition.
Last week, Makandiwa dropped yet another bombshell when he donated $10 000 towards wedding preparations of Mugabe’s daughter, Bona, scheduled for March 1.