Zimbabweans from all works of life have showed mixed feelings over the recent decision by the President Robert Mugabe to cancel the 2.7 million debt owed to the Bindura city council.
ZAOGA church had been embroiled in a land wrangle and was ordered by the High Court to vacate the land in which they are building the Zaoga Ezekiel Guti University (ZEGU), with the court stating the land belongs to a Bindura businessperson.
But officially opening the university last Friday President Mugabe told the church not to worry or pay cent since ‘ the sweat of the those who fought the war had already paid for the land’.
Mugabe had to cancel the 2.7 million dollar owed to the council by the church for the land in which they built the university.
The President’s critics have labelled the stance as a search for votes by the embattled 92 year old leader but ordinary members of the public has given differing views.
Writing on Facebook a Zimbabwean who was only identified as Mark Takavaka said it was the church’s right to benefit from the land.
“2 million is a lot of money considering that this land should benefit all and a church which is a non profit organisation should also benefit,” said Takavada.
Another Zimbabwean who requested anonymity speaking to Radio VOP said it was a good thing since Zimbabwe won the land from the British.
“We all fought the British misrule so that ivhu rakasikwa naMwari harifanirwi kutengeswa (land should not be sold) at such abnormal satanic prices but guys lets not just oppose the OPC for jumping ship, it’s not fair to be charged 2 million on land you even know kuti ivhu racho rakagadzirwa nani (no one knows who made that land).
Another student at the University of Zimbabwe identified as Paul Manoka said the President ought to be recommended.
“Mugabe is sometimes right nokuti sometimes ukada kukara unozviruza zvachose,” he said.
A ZAOGA church elder said she was praising the Lord for what Mugabe did.
“Amen praise the Lord. I am very happy about his bold decision he has made on his matter. This university is not for Ezekiel Guti because he has made it already in his career. He is ploughing back the country and the world. Thank you Lord for putting this issue to an end through the authority, His Excellency,” said the man who said his name was Elder Chimanike.
However another ZAOGA member whose named is Edna Sithole reprimanded Guti saying he should have followed procedure.
“ We commend DR Guti, but there are processes and procedures that need to be followed before one acquires land and starts to build, then these should be followed,” said Sithole.
ZINASU student leader Alister Pfunye bemoaned the issues questioning how Pfunye got the land.
“The big question is how did ZAOGA acquire land??? The second question is what is rhe personal relationship between Guti and Mugabe? Why free land when we live in a business world” fumed Pfunye.
A human rights activist who is also a Christian Edward Sibanda said the church should pay taxes.
“Give to Ceaser what belongs to Caeser and to God what belongs to God. All taxes, rates and levies should go to the government either local or national. If the state starts to interfere and mingle in church issues, then behold the mark of the beast is at the door,” said Sibanda.
Sibanda said what ZAOGA had engaged in was akin to corruption.
“ Corruption is corruption zvisinei nokuti nokuti yaitirwa papi unogona kutongoona kuti paitwa (no matter who does it) coz Mugabe anoziva kuti (knows that) ZAOGA is a big congregation zvekuti anogona kuwana vanhu vakawanda vachamuvotera 2018,” she said.
“ Mugabe ahasi Mwari unofa. Chese chakatorwa nechigandanga chichadzoka. ZAOGA inopindwa nemudzimai wangu asi ngavarega kuisa rita raMwari mucorruption (Mugabe is not God he will die one day ZAOGA will then have to pay back)” he continued.