HARARE - Activist cleric Patrick Phillip Mugadza has launched a fresh assault on President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF government by petitioning the United States President Donald Trump to force the long-serving Zimbabwean leader to step down.
Mugadza, who is facing a slew of charges at the courts, among them his controversial prophecy that Mugabe would die before end of this year, said Trump had hinted he would do that during his presidential campaigns last year.
“I am basically saying Trump made a promise that he would deal with dictators like Mugabe and (Ugandan President Yoweri) Museveni and now is the time to fulfil it.
“Mugabe’s own ministers recently bought him a special massage chair which is the clearest sign that he is now incapacitated,” Mugadza told the Daily News on Sunday about his embargoed petition.
“And as for our own parliamentarians, they must make Mugabe realise that he cannot handle being on that position anymore. They must communicate that on the nation’s behalf.”
The Remnant Church leader has previously petitioned the Roman Catholic Pope to excommunicate the nonagenarian arguing that his governance style was not consistent with someone claiming to be a Christian.
Yesterday, Mugadza defended his activism despite some reservations among his colleagues who accuse him of being political.
“I feel that my ministry goes hand-in-hand with activism although for so long we (pastors) have lived under the misconception that it is a taboo but it was just a trick by the regime to make sure that the most powerful entity, the Church, remains quiet pinned to the pulpit,” said Mugadza.
The unorthodox pastor, recently caused controversy among the church pastors, when he challenged the government to build special “conjugal rights cottages” in jails to allow prisoners to enjoy intimacy with their partners.
“I have seen condoms in prison and I have seen them with inmates. What does that tell you? It means some gay activity is most likely going on in there, although I am told that one can actually have intimacy with a woman in jail.
“I was told how this can be done and I asked whether my wife could also visit me in prison and they said no.
“I then began to realise that there is a need for the government to seriously think about this, as even...Mugabe says gays and lesbians are worse than dogs, which is not a very good statement from a leader because from my point of view as a clergyman, everybody was created in the image of God irrespective of what they do.
“They could be doing a wrong thing but that does not make them dogs at any given point.
“The best way is to speak to them so that they know what they are doing is wrong. So, if the president is seriously against gay relationships, what does he have to do?
“He has got to create a situation where he is going to be having what I call ‘conjugal cottages’ in prison. This way, women can say visit their husbands there,” ,” Mugadza said upon release from remand prison in March where he had stayed for over six weeks following his arrest on the Mugabe ‘‘death prophecy’’.
Mugadza is still facing a litany of criminal charges at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts — including prophesying that Mugabe would die before end of October this year.
Last month, he was cleared of one of the charges relating to him having allegedly abused the national flag.
Mugadza first hit the headlines in December 2015 when he mounted a one-man protest against Mugabe in Victoria Falls, during Zanu PF’s national conference at the resort, where he held a placard that read: “Mr President, the people are suffering. Proverbs 21:13”.
In April last year, he also chained himself to a pole while holding a cross in one hand and a Bible in the other, in a daring protest action in Harare.
He is still on trial on this other matter and is also yet to defend himself on his controversial “prophecy” in which he claimed Mugabe would die on October 17, this year.
In the last case, the Remnant Church leader is being charged with insulting both Christian and African traditional religions, with the State claiming that predicting someone’s death is taboo.
His death prophecy has caused palpable anger within sections of Zanu PF — which is riven with its seemingly unstoppable tribal, factional and succession wars.