JOHANNE Masowe eChishanu (The Fifth of Africa) apostolic leader Madzibaba Andby Makururu has been showing responsible leadership in the Covid-19 health crisis beyond his church’s confines.
White garment apostolic sects are often accused of shunning professional medical advice and wantonly disregarding government policies making the diminutive unassuming cleric a standout leader.
the Mutare-based cleric’s first stroke of wisdom amidst the pandemic which has now afflicted over 2.4 million people killing over 170 thousand was to dispersed his congregants who had attended church in hundreds in the face of a government ban of large gathering three weeks ago.
He however took opportunity of the gathering to officially inform and educate the congregants of the contagion which at the time has infected under 300 000 people and killed just 12 700.
This was a responsible move as apostolic sect members are notorious for only heeding the call of their leaders.
Before the congregants were dispersed they were ordered to wash hands with disinfectants with the entire shrine sprayed and were ordered to sit at least 45 centimetres from each other before being lectured on the risks of family and public gatherings in the transmission of the virus.
“From now on pending any reviews we have been ordered to stop public gatherings of more than 100 people and we are heeding this call by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to control the spread of the infection.
“As a church we are under the authority of the authorities and we are going to comply fully with this presidential decree,” Madzibaba Andby told congregants.
The cleric urged his subjects to either self-quarantine or stay at home if they have recently returned from a country with known corona virus outbreaks he a wide-ranging lecture that also discouraged touching of one’s face, eyes, nose and mouth as well as avoiding sitting tightly together or shaking hands.
Then speaking on the sidelines of the gathering the cleric said he found the place packed upon his arrival from Mozambique.
“I arrived to witness my congregant gathered and informed them that we needed to heed the government’s directive.
“…we however decided that instead of just sending people away we needed to take advantage of the gathering to educate them,” Madzibaba Andby said.
He however warned that disaster might be brewing elsewhere as people continued to travel unstrained with international travellers mingling freely with others at Sakubva bus terminus as government had by then not started isolating international arrivals.