The Minister of Information and Publicity Webster Shamu told church leaders that the country will not be lost through the ballot since independence was attained after a protracted struggle.

Shamu made the remarks as he addressed hundreds of bishops drawn from the apostolic church at the party’s headquarters on Friday at a meeting held under the theme “realigning indigenous churches”.

Speaking to the bishops, who have been promised housing stands and loans if they mobilise support for Zanu PF, Shamu repeated President Robert Mugabe’s infamous statement in 2008 after a first round poll defeat that “This country cannot be sold at the stroke of a pen.”

The church leaders, who had come from across the country to lend their support to Mugabe, cheered as Shamu who patronises them gushed and thanked service chiefs for their unwavering loyalty to Zanu PF’s rule.

“I want to repeat that this country came about through the barrel of the gun it cannot be taken by a pen, never, never, you can forget,” Shamu said a thunderous applause from men of the cloth who are supposed to frown at violence.

The chilling message from army bosses and Shamu flies into the face of Zanu PF supposed to be theme for the forthcoming elections “My Vote is My Voice and My Voice is My Vote”.

“We would like to thank the commander of the Zimbabwe Defence forces Constantine Chiwenga, Commissioner of Prisons Paradzai Zimondi and Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri for making clear their position that they will not work with anyone who is out to auction this country,” said Shamu.

In 2008, after a first round defeat to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who is now the country’s Prime Minister under the coalition government, Mugabe vowed that he would not allow the MDC, a party he branded as puppets of Britain, to rule this country even if they win an election.

While President Mugabe has been like a redeemed saint been pontificating about peace his lieutenants who include army generals and government ministers have made it clear that elections that will produce a Zanu PF defeat will not be accepted.