By Nigel Tendai Chitombo
Hwange Diocese SOCCOM
It was a moment of jubilation on 30 October 2021 as the people of Hwange welcomed Monsignor Raphael Mabuza Ncube as their bishop during his episcopal ordination at Hwange Colliery Stadium. Monsignor Raphael Macebo Mabuza Ncube was appointed as the fourth Bishop of Hwange Diocese by His Holiness Pope Francis on 5 July 2021. He takes over from Bishop Emeritus Jose Albert Serrano Anton who retired in 2016 after reaching the age of retirement. People from all over the country thronged the stadium to witness the grant occasion that was officiated by Archbishop Alex Thomas of Bulawayo.
Gracing the occasion was His Excellency Archbishop Paolo Rudelli the Apostolic Nuncio to Zimbabwe, Bishop Emeritus Albert Serrano and Apostolic Administrator of Hwange Diocese, Archbishop Robert Christopher Ndlovu of Archdiocese of Harare and President of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ZCBC), Bishop Paul Horan of Mutare Diocese, Bishop Michael Bhasera of Masvingo, Bishop Rudolph Nyandoro of Gweru, Bishop Raymond Mupandasekwa of Chinhoyi Diocese and Fr Frederick Chiromba who is the ZCBC Secretary General.
Rev. Fr Eusebias Nyathi who is the Vice Rector of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More Major Seminary, Chishawasha called the Diocese of Hwange to unit of purpose. In his homily he thanked the community for their love and support for the new bishop. He also thanked Bishop Emeritus Albert Serrano who shepherded the Diocese for the past 14years.
Guided by the Gospel reading from John 10: 10b – 16, Fr. Nyathi stated that the Bishop is a man of the Gospel who teaches the Gospel and lives by its values. He added that the Bishop is the voice of God therefore he should speak against evil and be the voice of the voiceless. He advised the new Bishop to be a good shepherd to the people of Hwange and to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. Fr. Nyathi encouraged Bishop Ncube to promote conservation of the environment in line with Laudato Si as the diocese is faced by a lot of environmental degradation from companies which have taken over the community to plunder resources and sometimes interfering with sacred places. Fr. Nyathi humbly asked priests in the diocese to cooperate with the new bishop and encouraged the bishop to be accessible to both the weak and strong and to have the people of God at the centre of his heart.
After the congratulatory messages, Bishop Raphael Ncube addressed the faithful of Hwange by greeting them in Tonga, Bemba, Nambya, Lozwi, Nyanja, Shona and Ndebele. He thanked Pope Francis for appointing him to lead the Diocese of Hwange and promised to be faithful in his service. In his message, Bishop Ncube expressed his keenness to bring all people together. He expressed gratitude to Emeritus Bishop Albert Serrano for holding the diocese intact for the past 14years. He encouraged the people of Hwange to remain united and not allow geographical divisions and differences in language to deter unity amongst them.
“There is great need to incorporate everyone and work together,” he said.
‘IN NOMINE DOMINE’ ‘MUZITA RAMAMBO’ ‘MUZINA LYASHE’ ‘MUZINA LYAMWAMI’ ‘EBIZWENI LENKOSI’