The Acting President of Zimbabwe, Cde Joseph Msika, was licensed to be a lay minster by the Anglican Diocese of Harare on Friday. The Bishop of Harare, the Right Reverend Nolbert Kunonga, a strong supporter of President Robert Mugabe, conferred the honour on Vice President Cde Msika during a service at St Alban's Mission in Chiweshe, where four assistant ministers were ordained. Rev Kunonga said the honour mandated Cde Msika to preach, officiate and perform other duties as may be directed by the bishop at any church in or under the jurisdiction of the Harare diocese. Rev Kunonga said the church decided to honour Cde Msika after realising the "sterling work" he had done for both the church and the country. "It is our appreciation to the people and the country and in many ways you have shown that you do care for the people. We know that this is your church but we would appreciate it if you could go and serve schools in other churches," he said. Cde Msika said he he fully understood the role of religion in politics, and he prayed regularly for God's guidance. "I have been working in my own way for God. I pray to God for power and strength to do the rightful thing. I know my President goes to the Roman Catholic Church and my co-Vice President Mai Mujuru goes to the Salvation Army and we always discuss our churches and bishops in the Presidium," he said. Cde Msika, who has endorsed the Zimbabwean government's policy of forcibly confiscating land, and Operation Drive Out Trash, which has left many thousands homeless, criticised "greedy people in society" whom he said "did not care for others." "That is not the will of God," said Cde Msika. He urged all leaders and politicians to be God-fearing. "If you are a politician, do your job on the will of God, but if you do it otherwise you are the devil's advocate."
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