Proportional representation Member of Parliament (MP) representing the disabled, Nyamayavo Mashavakure has criticised self-styled prophets and pastors for exploiting the conditions of disabled people for their own fame.
Mashavakure was speaking at a Public Lecture hosted by the Reformed Church University (RCU) at Morgenster Teachers College last week.
The lecture was held under the theme 'Disability and Christianity' and was attended by RCU staff, students and members of the public.
Mashavakure said people living with disabilities experience psychological torture and harassment from Christians especially pastors and prophets who seek to make their names out of the disabled.
"In the Bible, all the unfortunate were disabled. The stigma and stereotype goes on in today's Christian life. Whenever prophets or pastors preach or perform their miracles, they force the disabled to go forward and receive their healing. That becomes wrong when the 'healing' fails to materialise," he said.
He urged all Christians and pastors to broadly read the bible correctly and understand it before lying and abusing people using God's name.
"When God created the disabled, he had his own purpose. Who are you prophets to stand in God's way and disturb that purpose? Moses was disabled and if God wanted, he could have healed him but instead he provided him with Aaron and later on Joshua for assistance. What you need to do is assisting the disabled and stop lying and abuse us for your own prestige," added the senator.
"Blindness is permanent. No one can reverse that. Prophets who claim they healed blind people are lying. The people were partially blind. Now they lie to people that they can make blind people see. They are gaining followers by sinful ways.
"If those prophets were genuine, why do we have Jairos Jiri, Copota and Henry Murray? There are many people living with disabilities in those organisations. Why are they still disabled?
Mashavakure also questioned authorities' concern for the welfare of the less privileged.
"Government's commitment to disabled people is questionable; special classes – there are a variety of people; the mentally challenged, slow learners and disabled are all mixed in one class and they call it special class. Why is it so? There are only two MPs who are disabled in Parliament today but by law every local authority should have at least two representatives of the disabled who are also living with disabilities," the senator said.
RCU Vice Chancellor, Wiseman Magwa also rebuked Christians who exploit the disability of others for their own selfish gain while disregarding the word of God and the feelings of the disabled.
"Disability is not inability; everyone should be given the right and chance to learn everything despite his/her appearance or disability. Whenever we see a disabled person, we always think they need material help. A lot of disabled people were made to fail interviews before they even sat for them. We see them as charity instead of human beings," Prof Magwa said.news