President Mnangagwa yesterday granted Apostolic Church leader Johane Marange, High Priest Noah Taguta Momberume, a state-assisted funeral.
The president said Mutumwa Taguta has transformed the sect from its age-old traditions to modernize it to maintain secular and modern education and medical practices, including the recognition of girls’ rights.
High Priest Taguta died over the weekend after a long illness and is expected to be buried at the shrine today.
Mutumwa Taguta was 82 years old.
Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Deconcentration, Nokuthula Matsikenyere should represent the government.
In his condolence message, President Mnangagwa said he received with deep sorrow and deep sadness the death of High Priest Taguta.
“A devout Christian and faithful messenger of God, the late Mutumwa Noah was a truly begotten spiritual child of the Church founded by the late Johane Marange, which he transformed into a powerful sub-regional movement of God’s faithful spanning Africa southern, eastern and central. ,” he said.
“Such a massive movement of believers from diverse nationalities and cultures required inspired leadership that only he could provide. We greatly admired his commitment to the Word and his exceptional leadership, through which our country, Zimbabwe, is now an epicenter spiritual well-known on the African continent.
“I have very vivid memories of my visits to his headquarters at Mafararikwa in the countryside of Marange which he transformed into a continental sanctuary and a home for the faithful of God.”
President Mnangagwa said High Priest Taguta had done a lot for his brothers and his country.
“Against centuries-old practices and established traditions, he challenged archaic perspectives to modernize the Church until it embraced secular education, modern medical practices and a better and enlightened life for the girl child in the Church,” he said.
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“With very little persuasion, he built a modern high school that is a source of pride for the church, the community and the government. Today, children and families in the church and beyond embrace the education and have embraced modern medical practices, including vaccination programs.
“Mutumwa Noah was singularly responsible for this transformation which solidified the church’s position as a movement associated with the liberation of our country.”
The President added that he knew Mutumwa Taguta as a passionate farmer, who approached the government to secure land and made full and productive use of it, thus contributing to the overall effort towards national food security.
“This tradition of agricultural industry and productivity on a commercial scale is now firmly established in the church which is able to meet its food needs, in addition to a marketable surplus. We applaud its leadership which has gone to the beyond the spiritual realm to encompass the secular, thereby serving a complete human being.
“On behalf of the government, the people of Zimbabwe and on my own behalf, I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the Taguta family for this most sad loss.
“He was a spiritual father to our nation who today shares their grief and joins them and the entire Church in mourning.
“In recognition of his contribution to the spiritual and material welfare of our nation, I have directed the government to grant the late Mutumwa Noah Taguta a state-assisted funeral,” he said.
He was known for championing development in Bocha, Marange, where his church has the largest numbers.
President Mnangagwa previously visited the Mutumwa Taguta shrine in 2018, where he officially launched the construction of a state-of-the-art sports center and stadium at St Noah College in Bocha.