Harvest House International, one of the leading Pentecostal churches in Bulawayo, on Sunday held a special prayer service dedicated to Zimbabwe which commemorates the nation’s 32nd year of independence.

The colourful service attended by Cain Mathema, governor and resident minister for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, saw children dance while waving the Zimbabwean flag.

The church choir members, some of which had wrapped themselves in the Zimbabwean flag too, led the congregation in praising and glorifying the Almighty for all the blessings He has given to the Southern African country for the past three decades.

During the actual prayer, two men were asked to hold the national flag in front of the congregation while the governor and one of the church elders, retired Brigadier General Ben Matiwaza, were asked to stand next to the flag with the whole church stretching hands towards them in prayer.

Speaking during the special service, Apostle Colin Nyathi, founder and senior pastor of the church, said that, regardless of diverse affiliations, it was important for Zimbabweans to always take time to pray for their country, “the only motherland they have.”

He said raising high the national flag did not mean allegiance to any political party but meant taking pride in being Zimbabwean. Nyathi also said there was nothing wrong with Christians going into politics, adding that political offices needed to be occupied by people with a relationship with God to avoid abuse of power.

Zimbabwe gained its independence from Britain on April 18, 1980, after nearly a century of colonial bondage dating back to 1890.

The preparations for this year’s independence celebrations are at an advanced stage in all the country’s ten provinces. In Bulawayo the event is set for White City Stadium.