Churches allowed to gather under COVID-19 restrictions as ED sets prayer day

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Cynthia Chitombi

President Mnangagwa has allowed churches across Zimbabwe to gather for their services on conditions that congregants observe social distancing and not to exceed 50 people.

In announcing the Presidential National Day of Prayer and Fasting set for June 15, President Mnangagwa acknowledged the importance of the church in the fight to curb the spread of the virus.

President Mnangagwa in March this year, put Zimbabwe under lock-down under strict restrictions for 21-days prohibiting social gatherings while citizens were ordered to stay home.

However, the lockdown was downgraded to Level 2 allowing government and commercial services to open to the public under strict World Health Organisation guidelines.

“l wish to acknowledge that our church leaders are essential personnel in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Going forward, gatherings for the purpose of worship not exceeding 50 congregants and observing all prescribed social distancing requirements are allowed throughout our nation,” he said.

On the national day of prayer, he said: “As your President, during this very difficult season in which our Nation and indeed the world, face challenge of the covid-19 pandemic; l am humbled to invite you all, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to take time in prayer and fasting as a nation before the Almighty God, to seek his mercy, wisdom, help and healing to overcome this deadly pandemic.”

President Mnangagwa, however, urged Zimbabweans to diligently continue to observe every precaution necessary to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

The Presidential National Day of Prayer and Fasting will be broadcast live on national television and social media streams and would include a church service at State House.

President Mnangagwa also invited Zimbabweans join him in fasting during the day of prayer and fasting while urging to make their arrangements to participate in this service as families.

“I urge you all on this day, to join us giving up one, two or all meals in fasting. It will be best to arrange to participate in this service as families, small groups or church services not exceeding fifty people and observing the precautions we have been taking to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” he said.

President Mnangagwa paid tribute to churches for their contributions towards the fight against the spread of the deadly virus.

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