President Mugabe yesterday met visiting United States pastor and author Thomas Dexter Jakes, popularly known as TD Jakes at State House in Harare.
The President was in the company of the First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe. TD Jakes is the bishop of The Potter’s House, a non-denominational American mega-church. He is in the country for the Zimpraise International Gospel and Music Festival being held in Harare.
The festival began on Tuesday and will end today. TD Jakes, who is in Zimbabwe for the first time, said he had brought a message of hope to Zimbabweans. “I have brought just good tidings, hope and it is my desire to empower Zimbabweans in every way I can while I am here,” he said immediately after meeting President Mugabe.
“So we did a business summit earlier today with some of your business and religious leaders. The prophet (Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe president, Aspher Madziyire) has invited me to see President Mugabe and unfortunately it is going to be a short day. I have to leave tomorrow, but I have enjoyed the lot of stay that I have been here.”
TD Jakes said there was need for countries to forge business partnerships to uplift people’s livelihoods. “From my perspective, the question of empowerment comes to the way that as business leaders the more we can train and help each other to do business more effectively, that uplifts people as well,” he said.
Asked about the illegal sanctions the US imposed on Zimbabwe, he said: “You overestimate my influence. My wish is to encourage the business community to the degree that I have influence. The other issues are political matters.”
On his discussion with President Mugabe, he said: “I have learnt over the years that whenever you have a conversation with the President, you leave it there.”