Word of Life International Ministries, one of the leading Pentecostal churches in Bulawayo had its annual December conference disrupted by a ZANU-PF event which was held at the church’s traditional venue, Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) grounds during the same week.
Church insiders told Religion in Zimbabwe that their conference had to be cancelled despite them having booked the facility from the ZITF Company ahead of the former ruling party. They explained that the church had to be refunded after ZANU-PF complained that security of its delegates attending the conference could be threatened if the church gathering was to run concurrently with theirs.
ZANU-PF 12th Annual People’s Conference, attended by President Robert Mugabe and senior politicians from Southern Africa ran from 6-11 December last year, and there was tight security at the venue, which left the church with no option but to concede cancellation.
Church members had to hold mini conferences at their different branches across the city.
Every December Word of Life International Ministries holds conferences at the ZITF grounds during which thousands of believers from across denominations congregate to listen to the word of God.
Church members said the disruption affected them significantly as believers whose branches are outside the city centre were denied the opportunity to hear the senior pastor, Goodwill Shana, preach. And only a few of them had access to the senior pastor’s message from the internet.
Word of Life international Ministries, founded and headed by Pr Shana has branches at the city centre, Entumbane, Trenance and Nkulumane.
Pr Shana, who was elected into the Anti-corruption Commission last year, is married to Pr Maureen a dynamic preacher of the word of God, founder and president of Woman Unlimited, a Christian women grouping that seeks to make women realise their potential.