Africa, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Zimbabwe's president leads prayer against COVID-19

‘We have chosen to repent and seek his mercy, help, healing and wisdom in the face of this coronavirus,’ president says

John Cassim   | 16.06.2020
Zimbabwe's president leads prayer against COVID-19

HARARE, Zimbabwe 

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa led the nation in prayer Monday, seeking divine intervention against the novel coronavirus, which has claimed thousands of lives and infected millions of people globally. 

“Forgive those who have worshipped idols and false gods. Forgive us for all the immorality and uncleanliness. Forgive us for every act of injustice or corruption that has made the poor to suffer or the innocent to die,” Mnangagwa said during his prayer, which was broadcast live on state-run ZBC TV and other social media platforms.

The prayer meeting, held at the State House in the capital Harare, involved the recitation of verses from the Bible that speak of repentance and forgiveness. Last week, the president urged Zimbabweans to come together, pray, fast and continue to observe precautions necessary to prevent the virus from spreading.

The country has so far reported 383 COVID-19 cases and four deaths while 54 people have recovered.

Ahead of the prayer meeting, Zimbabweans expressed their dissatisfaction with Mnangagwa’s administration over rampant corruption, looting and alleged human rights abuses including abductions and torture.

Security in the capital was tightened ahead of the prayer meeting with soldiers and police turning away motorists and commuters at roadblocks and telling them to go back home to fast and pray.

Various heads of Christian churches and the Muslim, Hindu and Greek and Jewish communities attended the prayer meeting.

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