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Refugee-based Zim church lands helping hand to vulnerable

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By Tafadzwa Muranganwa

A local church, whose congregation largely comprises refugees who came and settled in Zimbabwe over many years, has led initiatives aimed at assisting some vulnerable local communities.

The Vision Pentecostal Church was formed in 2010 among refugees at Tongogara Refugee Camp in Manicaland.

The church has paid back the hospitality granted to its members by locals through handouts to Zimbabwean communities worst affected by Cyclone Idai as well as the Covid-19 induced lockdown period.

“The church has done different activities to support the nation during the lockdown period brought by the Covid-19 pandemic and Cyclone Idai in Chimanimani and Chipinge.

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“During that period, the church mobilised all refugee businessmen living in Harare to join with other citizens to support the call of the government to help the affected families.

“The most remarkable support by a businessmen was the building of the Malaria Polyclinic in Chimanimani,” said the church in a statement.

Rev John Peter Hakizimana flanked by Daisy Mukariri (left) and Bishop A Nyabanga

Its two branches in Epworth, Harare mobilised donations which were handed over to hunger-stricken families.

Meanwhile, Vision Pentecostal Church held a 3-day revival conference which ended on Sunday.

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Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, Senior Pastor of Vision Pentecostal, Church in Zimbabwe, Reverend John Peter Hakizimana urged peace in Zimbabwe ahead of the country’s 2023 elections.

“Although as refugees, we are not allowed to pursue politics, it’s our fervent prayer as a church with members who are Zimbabwean citizens to have a peaceful election next year,” said Rev Hakizimana who has been in Zimbabwe since 2006. 

The same sentiments were echoed by guest speaker, Bishop Aderino Nyabanga of Day Break International Ministries who encouraged citizens to be each ‘brother’s keeper’.

The conference was spiced up with musical performances from Pastor Daisy Mukariri (Zimbabwe), Nimpagaritse Arsene (Burundi), and Mbonyicyambu Israel (Rwanda).

“I am happy to be part of this conference organised by Vision Pentecostal Church. I have been ministering through music alongside powerful musicians and choirs particularly the musician from Rwanda; I really felt blessed.

“I want to thank God for this occasion, over the lockdowns we didn’t have these opportunities to go and showcase our talent at church,” said an ecstatic Mukariri who will be releasing her 10th album in August this year.

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