One of Zimbabwe’s leading religious leaders, Bishop Paul Mwazha, marks his 103rd birthday today amid celebration by church members that God was protecting their leader.
Celebrations involving family and church members were held over the weekend. Over 16 000 congregants of his African Apostolic Church, popularly known as VaApositori vekwaMwazha, gathered in Waterfalls, Harare, to celebrate the sect’s founder and leader, Bishop Mwazha’s birthday.
Congregants from Harare and Chitungwiza converged in Waterfalls for what they call Gumhano, a monthly church service gathering.
Born on October 25, 1918, Mwazha is believed to have started preaching word of God at the age of 16.
In an interview on the sidelines of the celebrations, Alfred Kushamisa Mwazha, the son of Bishop Paul, who is one of the church bishops, said the huge gathering showed that everything they are doing as a church was in the right direction.
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“We have gathered here for prayers, thanking the Almighty for taking care of our father Paul Mwazha. He is now 103 years old and we are happy as a church and family for that, hence a huge gathering you are witnessing here.
“This huge gathering is a testament that the servant of God, Paul Mwazha, was given a gift by God. A gift to win peoples’ hearts through teaching and preaching His word to them.
“My father started preaching at the age of 16 and now he is 103 years old, you can imagine all the years he has been doing God’s work. More than 80 years, he has dedicated to God’s work.”
Bishop Alfred added that the entire family and church were happy with the protection that their founder was getting from God.
Bishop Elson Tafa, who is also the chairman for the church’s board of trustees, said they were humbled by the huge turn-out.
“Gathered here is also the Priesthood Council who are the three sons of Paul Mwazha weAfrica. They are Bishops Edward Ngoni Mwazha, Alfred Kushamisa Mwazha and James Mwazha. This council is the one which represents Paul Mwazha as you know that he has advanced in age and walking is now difficult, so in his absence, his three sons would be there in his place.
“So this gathering has Paul Mwazha’s blessings through the Priesthood Council. Whatever we do is approved by this council.”
Bishop Tafa said as they celebrated Bishop Mwazha’s birthday, they also prayed for the nation, President Mnangagwa and his administration.
He said the church was also praying for Zimbabwe’s economic prosperity.