“Handiregi Kunamata, …Handiregi Kunamata… Handiregi Kunamata (I can’t stop worshiping, even if it’s hard…)” , Harare ‘s Councillor Makarutse sang as she welcomed throngs of UAAC member to the 2019 UAAC Zimbabwe International Conference at Ezekiel Guti Conference Centre in Harare on 12 – 14 July 2019. The conference attracted scores of UAAC members from as far as Victoria Falls, Mberengwa, Gwanda, Bulawayo, Binga, Plum Tree, Maranda, Beitbridge, Masvingo, Gaha and Mutare.

There was also a huge delegation led by Bishops Halngwana and Muzila  as well as members of the Mureri Family from South Africa. It comprised of people from Head Quarters, Johannesburg, Thohoyandou, Malamulele, Mutale, Dzanani, Bochum, Makhado and Vuwani. These included among others, Women Ministry Head, Jevrou Maluleke, Gauteng Councillors’ Chairperson, Cllr Nemulalate, Limpopo Women Chairperson, Insp Maudu, Deputy Leader of UAAC Inspectors, Senior Inspector Tshisikhawe,  NEC Member, Snr Cllr Mapholi, Chief Tshikombedze, Personal Assistant to the Archbishop, Rev Madula, Prophet Mudau, Youth President Ramutsheli, Limpopo Youth Chairperson, Mr Mutakalo Mathoma, representatives from Royal Embrace and many others representing all levels of the church ‘s stratification.

The Conference began on Friday evening, mainly with Harare based members. They spent the whole evening preaching and encouraging each other to remain united whilst also time taking time to welcome fellow members streaming into the conference venue at different times.

On Saturday morning, most delegates already arrived, including the unprecedented high number of the South African delegation. They sang “Vha hone Murena, ni songo vhilahela (Do not be anxious, for GOD is there)” as they converged at the beautiful Amphic Conference Centre’ Southern Hall. The riveting acoustic drum spurred almost everyone to a dance floor as they encouraged each other to remain strong in a Conference accustomed to hosting the church’s Holy Father whose absence was conspicuous and easily felt by all in attendance.

The first service lasted until 16:00 to make way for the first ever Youth Service led by Harare Youth President, Mr Mlauzi and Chairperson Mr Tatenda Mhaka. Under the theme “I stand at the door and knock, If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in”, the young lions enjoyed themselves preaching, singing and dancing the early evening away. With the ever popular Victor Chakanyuka on the driving seat, the service was electric as the youth from various regions took turns preaching the word of GOD. They also shared other program items among regions and countries to ensure inclusivity of all the youth in attendance. They encouraged each other to start regional conferences in the whole Zimbabwe to protect the church’s legacy. “We must make sure that we remain united, whether in South Africa or here in Zimbabwe”, Harare Youth President Mlauzi said, much to the appreciation of all attendants.  There were Choir performances by choirs from Bulawayo Choir, Harare Choir, Beitbridge Choir and the South African delegation who formed a Choir upon arrival as they are from various areas.  A sober judgement of best performance was delivered by Zimbabwe Bishops’ Chairman Bishop C Rumasa who indicated that Bulawayo sang better trailed by Harare. Most youth indicated after the service that such services should be continued.

Inspector Maudu led the evening service which was mainly characterized by preaching the word of GOD. Both the Women and church elders took turns encouraging togetherness and sacrificing bodies to Christ as per biblical teachings. The neighbourhood most probably had temporary insomnia as the riveting drums of the energetic UAAC members could be heard miles away from the conference venue.

The final day of the conference was reserved for words of encouragement by various elders, from District Councillor Makarutse, Chairman Fosi and Bishops. Bishop Rumasa welcomed all and wished everyone a pleasant service. Zimbabwe Chairman, Mr Fosi, reminisced about a miracle the Archbishop performed in 1981 in one of his early visit to Zimbabwe after inauguration in 1978. He remarked that he vividly remembered the Archbishop leaving his stationary car and walked with a legion of church elders whilst the car followed them without a driver. He concluded by saying that the Archbishop had a good heart and we should all emulate him as UAAC members.

Bishop Dube took members down memory lane about how he became a UAAC member and encouraged all UAAC members to remain members of this church despite any challenges that may ensue. “The Archbishop showed us the way, we should not abandon it”, he said. His words were echoed by Bishop Hlabangwana from South Africa who began his address by challenging the Youth from Beitbridge to a circular dance as “they did not finish their mission last night”. Flashing cameras bore testimony to the best ever 6 to 6 circular dance as the Bishop refused to give in to the energetic youngsters. At the end, the UAAC emerged victorious as most attendants, including some senior Councillors, joined in amidst deafening ululations and honking horns.

Bishop Muzila concluded the speeches and pleaded for unity among all UAAC members, whether in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia or South Africa. “As Bishops, we are the custodians of Archbishop Mureri’s legacy and we should therefore never let our guard down”, he said.

Bishop Rukumbo closed the Conference with a prayer.

The conference certainly left an indelible mark at Harare.

Peace be unto all!!